Not This Time Colt Front and Center in Risen Star

Epicenter | Hodges Photography

Winchell Thoroughbreds' Epicenter (Not This Time) made up for his close call in the GIII Lecomte S. with a front-running score in the GII Risen Star S. at the Fair Grounds, moving him up in the GI Kentucky Derby points rankings. Winchell Thoroughbreds and winning trainer Steve Asmussen also teamed up to take this event in 2016 with future Horse of the Year Gun Runner.

Away a breath slower than the rest, Epicenter quickly got his hooves beneath him and tugged his way up to the front under Joel Rosario. Bodock (Street Boss), a 63-1 shot, kept the pacesetter honest through early splits of :23.79 and :47.97 with Pappacap (Gun Runner) saving ground to Bodock's inside in third. Meanwhile favored 'TDN Rising Star' Smile Happy (Runhappy) bided his time back off the pace in sixth with GII Remsen S. runner-up Zandon (Upstart) sitting off his heels. Epicenter continued to lope along comfortably at the head of affairs, putting up three-quarters in 1:12.25. Rosario sat chilly in the saddle as Epicenter cruised clear with ease in the lane for a decisive victory. Smile Happy rallied for second with Zandon closing right behind him for third.

Fading to sixth in his seven-panel Churchill Downs unveiling in September, Epicenter returned with a good-looking graduation going a mile at that venue Nov. 13. Running away to a 6 1/2-length triumph in this venue's Gun Runner S. Dec. 26, he did most of the heavy lifting in the Lecomte S. last time Jan. 22, only to be headed by Call Me Midnight (Midnight Lute) late.

“He did run a really big race today,” Rosario said. “That was really nice. He looked like he was enjoying what he was doing and put in a really nice race today. We'll see going forward how far he can go.”
“A little different than his last race in that every quarter was perfect,” owner Ron Winchell said. He looked nice and comfortable we were just hoping he would finish off the race and he did. He looked great.”

Pedigree Notes:
Epicenter is the fifth graded winner and one of 17 black-type scorers for his young sire Not This Time. He is also the 14th graded scorer and one of 30 black-type winners out of a daughter of Candy Ride (Arg), who was also the broodmare sire of GIII Fair Grounds H. winner Cavalry Charge (Honor Code). Westwind Farms purchased the winner's dam Silent Candy for $130,000 at the 2014 KEENOV sale carrying a foal by Scat Daddy. Her recent produce includes a juvenile colt by Always Dreaming and a yearling filly by Tapiture. She was bred back to Outwork.

Saturday, Fair Grounds
RISEN STAR S. PRESENTED BY LAMARQUE FORD-GII, $400,000, Fair Grounds, 2-19, 3yo, 1 1/8m, 1:49.03, ft.
1–EPICENTER, 122, c, 3, by Not This Time
               1st Dam: Silent Candy (SW & GSP, $182,208), by Candy Ride (Arg)
               2nd Dam: Silent Queen, by King of Kings (Ire)
               3rd Dam: Soundproof (Ire), by Ela-Mana-Mou (Ire)
1ST GRADED STAKES WIN. ($260,000 Ylg '20 KEESEP).
O-Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC; B-Westwind Farms (KY);
T-Steven M. Asmussen; J-Joel Rosario. $240,000. Lifetime
Record: 5-3-1-0, $410,639. Werk Nick Rating: A++. Click for
the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Smile Happy, 122, c, 3, Runhappy–Pleasant Smile, by
Pleasant Tap. ($175,000 Wlg '19 KEENOV; $185,000 Ylg '20
FTKSEL). O-Lucky Seven Stable (Mackin); B-Moreau
Bloodstock Int'l Inc. & White Bloodstock LLC (KY); T-Kenneth
McPeek. $80,000. 'TDN Rising Star'
3–Zandon, 122, c, 3, Upstart–Memories Prevail, by Creative
Cause. ($170,000 Ylg '20 KEESEP). O-Jeff Drown; B-Brereton
Jones (KY); T-Chad C. Brown. $40,000.
Margins: 2 3/4, HF, HD. Odds: 3.50, 2.20, 3.80.
Also Ran: Pioneer of Medina, Tawny Port, Slow Down Andy, Trafalgar, Pappacap, Bodock, Russian Tank.
Click for the chart, the PPs, or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.


Not a subscriber? Click here to sign up for the daily PDF or alerts.

Copy Article Link

Liked this article? Read more like this.

  1. Good Magic's How Did He Do That Gets Best of Blanket Finish in Oklahoma Derby
  2. Friday's Racing Insights: Juvenile Colts Take To The Churchill Stage
  3. Reincarnate Favored In PA Derby, Draws Post 11
  4. Exaggerator's West Saratoga Upsets The Iroquois
  5. Breeders' Cup Challenge Series Back At Woodbine, Derby-Oaks Roads Begin At Churchill

Never miss another story from the TDN

Click Here to sign up for a free subscription.