FRANKLIN – Jose Ortiz capped a huge day was a big win, leading Zulu Alpha to victory in the $1 million Calumet Farm Kentucky Turf Cup on Saturday at Kentucky Downs.

Zulu Alpha came five wide at the turn to push into front and win the 1½ mile race by 3¼ lengths over favorite Arklow in a time of 2 minutes, 28.62 seconds.

“When we passed the three-eighths pole I was kind of four wide, but I wanted to be there,” Ortiz said. “I felt the horses inside of me couldn’t handle the distance. I was more worried about Arklow because I know he could handle the distance. I smooched at my horse passing the three eighths, and he was there for me.”

The win was the fourth of the day for Ortiz and the second stakes win. Ortiz also won aboard Ms Bad Behavior in the $500,000 Three Chimney’s Ladies Turf.

“I can’t complain,” Ortiz said. “I had a very good day.”

Ms Bad Behavior went wire-to-wire in the one-mile race, holding off favorite Mitchell Road to win by 1½ lengths in a time of 1:35.25.

“Her last race she got pulled up,” Greg Hall, a Tompkinsville native and part of the ownership group, said. “They felt something. It was just a misstep, she’s fine. We decided it was better to have a few months off and then bring her back.

“(Fellow owner Brooke Hubbard) said let’s put her here. (We) have both thought about Kentucky Downs for a couple of years. I’m from here – not far away – and I look at this thing and say we’ve got to run a horse here and we did.”

In the $500,000 Spendthrift Farm Ladies Sprint, Morticia, ridden by Tyler Gaffalione, bounced back from a fourth-place finish at Saratoga last month to win the 6½-furlong race in a time of 1:15.85.

“It was great to see her come back,” trainer Rusty Arnold said. “There was a question of maybe if she had lost her edge. Her last race at Saratoga wasn’t very good. We hope we found the reasons for it. Everyone was concerned about 6½ furlongs, but she had won at 7. I think this may even be better for her, the way she did it. I’m not sure this wasn’t her best race.”

Arnold was also the trainer for Totally Boss, the winner in the $700,000 Runhappy Turf Sprint – a “Win and You’re In” qualifier for the Breeders Cup Turf Sprint later this year.

Totally Boss, who had to win at Ellis Park to have a shot at Saturday’s race, held off long shot Smart Remark by 1¼ lengths to win the six furlong race in a time of 1:09.21.

“Everybody was so high on him, so that’s when you think something is going to go wrong,” co-owner Jim Hill said. “He was so cool in the paddock. I had high expectations for sure going into this race. He’s really turned it around. He’s figured it out. He gets stronger every race. We are happy.”

Gaffalione also guided Cambria to a win in the $500,000 Kentucky Downs Juvenile Turf Sprint. It was the third win in three tries for Cambria, who edged Chimney Rock by a head winning the 6½-furlong race in a time of 1:17.40.{p class=”p1”}{span class=”s1”}“Today was the first time she actually was challenged,” Gaffalione said. “She showed how much heart she has.”{/span}{p class=”p1”}{span class=”s1”}Kentucky Downs live racing continues with a full card Sunday. Post time for the first race is scheduled at 12:15 p.m.{/span}{&end}


(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.