Dogwood Stable's Aikenite narrowly wins the Grade Grade 2 Churchill Downs in a close photo over Apriority. Todd Pletcher and John Velazquez paired to grab the second consecutive Grade 2 win for Aikenite this year. He won the Grade 2 Commonwealth at Keeneland last month. Aikenite prevailed the victor by a nose over Apriority, who was half length ahead of 21-1 Ibboyee, who was just a nose in front of Capt. Candyman Can.
Jockey John Velazquez said of the ride, "When he got the lead he was hanging a little bit and the other horse came on the outside and that was just enough to get him to run another jump and get him to the wire. I definitely thought I got there, but it was hard work to get there, let me tell you."
Trainer Todd Pletcher is already looking toward the fall Breeders' Cup to run here at Churchill Downs. He noted, "With the Breeders' Cup here in the fall, I think we have some options with this horse. We ran him in the Breeders' Cup Mile last year and we could run him there again. (The Breeders' Cup) Sprint (at six furlongs) is also possible. It might be that this distance (seven furlongs) may be his best, so we'll see which way we go."
Aikenite returned $28.60, $12.60, and $8.40. Apriority paid $7.80 and $6.20, and Ibboyee returned $12.40 for show.
Photo: Courtesy Kentucky Derby