Carl Spackler a Game Winner in Opening Verse Return

Carl Spackler (Ire) | Coady Media

'TDN Rising Star' Carl Spackler (Ire) (Lope de Vega {Ire}), winner of last summer's GII National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame S. Aug. 11 and GIII Saranac S. Sept. 1, picked up right where he left off despite a wide trip in Thursday's Opening Verse S. at Churchill Downs.

The 9-5 favorite was a three-wide fifth around the first turn and set his sights on the top two entering the far turn. He made his move while three deep at the top of the stretch and fought his way past a game pacesetter in Talk of the Nation (Quality Road) to make it three straight.

A disappointing eighth as the favorite in the GII American Turf S. on last year's GI Kentucky Derby undercard, Carl Spackler was unraced since putting them back to back at the Spa last summer.

The winner's dam has a 2-year-old full sister to the winner and produced a colt by Uncle Mo this year.

“I am real proud of this horse today,” winning trainer Chad Brown said. “His dam (Zindaya) is one of the first horses I trained and won with (for e Five Racing). He came off the layoff and ran great. That was a real good horse inside him (Talk of the Nation) and we had to fight all the way. We are probably going to take him up to Saratoga and see what we can do from there.”

OPENING VERSE S., $304,100, Churchill Downs, 5-2, 4yo/up, 1mT, 1:35.31, fm.
1–CARL SPACKLER (IRE), 120, c, 4, Lope de Vega (Ire)–Zindaya
(GSW, $567,240), by More Than Ready. (350,000gns RNA Ylg
'21 TATOCT). O-e Five Racing Thoroughbreds; B-Fifth Avenue
Bloodstock (IRE); T-Chad C. Brown; J-Tyler Gaffalione.
$161,975. Lifetime Record: MGSW, 6-4-1-0, $594,225.
2–Talk of the Nation, 120, c, 4, Quality Road–She's Not Here, by
Street Cry (Ire). ($470,000 RNA 2yo '22 FTFMAR). O-Joseph
Allen LLC & CHC INC.; B-Chc Inc. (KY); T-Todd A. Pletcher.
3–Smokin' T, 120, h, 5, War Front–Wine Princess, by
Ghostzapper. ($295,000 RNA Ylg '20 KEESEP). O-DATTT Stable;
B-Dattt Farm LLC (KY); T-Claude R. McGaughey III. $33,625.
Margins: HD, 2 1/4, NK. Odds: 1.99, 4.02, 3.65.
Also Ran: Churchtown, Skyro, Accredit, Stitched, Ice Chocolat (Brz), Harlan Estate, Tiverton (GB). Scratched: Ah Jeez, Quality G. Click for the chart or VIDEO, sponsored by FanDuel TV.

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