Contested over a turf course increasingly affected by the persistent rain showers, Maraud came with a rally from the latter half of the field and found the wire best of all to score from the dead-heating duo of ‘TDN Rising Star’ Untamed Domain and the consistent Captivating Moon.
The $375,000 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic graduate was off without incident and was content to settle well off the inside and slightly worse than midfield as ‘Rising Star’ Speed Franco (Declaration of War) took modest pace pressure from California raider Inscom (Distorted Humor) to his outside. Widest and facing the breeze down the back, Maraud covered ground on the turn and was beginning to find his best stride as they neared the stretch. Speed Franco had disposed of Inscom entering the final furlong and a half, but Maraud, racing on his incorrect lead, raced over the top for the victory.
“I didn’t think my horse liked the soft turf,” winning jockey John Velazquez explained. “I took a chance, took him back and tried to make one run with him. He showed me something and came through for me. The turf is very, very soft now after all the rain.”
Maraud entered Saturday’s test with some form over easier going, having finished third to Speed Franco over a ‘good’ Gulfstream turf last December before annexing a Jan. 13 in similar underfoot conditions. Up late to pip Speed Franco in the GIII Palm Beach S. Mar. 3, he may have struggled with yielding Keeneland turf when a low-odds fifth to ‘Rising Star’ Analyze It (Point of Entry) in the GIII Transylvania S. Apr. 6.
Maraud is the second straight winner of the American Turf bred by the unplaced Unbridled Empire, a half-sister to the reliable middle-distance turf horse Fourty Niners Son (Distorted Humor) and to GISW Cindy’s Hero (Sea Hero), the dam of GSW & GISP Delegation (Speightstown). The extended female family includes turf GSW Rokeby Rose (Tom Rolfe), the dam of two-time Eclipse Award winner and 1999 GI Kentucky Oaks heroine Silverbulletday (Silver Deputy). Maraud was also a $100,000 Keeneland September acquisition by Jimmy Crupi before being purchased by Charlie Boden on behalf of Jeff Treadway. Unbridled Empire is the dam of a 2-year-old Flatter filly bought for $200,000 at KEESEP last fall and sent to England, a yearling colt by Will Take Charge and was most recently bred to Runhappy.
Saturday, Churchill Downs
AMERICAN TURF S. PRESENTED BY RAM TRUCKS-GII, $300,000, CD, 5-5, 3yo, 1 1/16mT, 1:47.52, yl.
1–MARAUD, 120, c, 3, by Blame
1st Dam: Unbridled Empire, by Empire Maker
2nd Dam: Cindazanno, by Alleged
3rd Dam: Venus Bound, by Conquistador Cielo
($100,000 Ylg ’16 KEESEP; $375,000 2yo ’17 EASMAY).
O-Treadway Racing Stable; B-John R. & Frank Penn (KY);
T-Todd A. Pletcher; J-John R. Velazquez. $169,260. Lifetime
Record: 7-4-0-2, $337,770.*1/2 to Arklow (Arch), GSW,
$331,187. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
Werk Nick Rating: A++.
(DH) 2–Untamed Domain, 123, c, 3, Animal Kingdom–Ciao, by
Lear Fan. ($90,000 Ylg ’16 KEESEP). O-West Point
Thoroughbreds; B-Clearsky Farms (KY); T-H. Graham Motion.
$40,950. ‘TDN Rising Star’
(DH) 2–Captivating Moon, 118, c, 3, Malibu Moon–Appealing
Storm, by Valid Appeal. O/B-Lothenbach Stables Inc (KY);
T-Chris M. Block. $40,950.
Margins: 1HF, HF, HF. Odds: 8.40, 7.30, 11.10.
Also Ran: Arawak, River Boyne (Ire), Channel Cat, Speed Franco, Tigers Rule, Inscom, Admiralty Pier, Threeandfourpence, Pont Du Gard, Dragon Drew, Tiz Mischief. Scratched: Rushing Fall, Alternative Route. Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.