Monday, March 17, 2008 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . March 17, 2008 . . . The lady set the pace but Korbyn Gold took over at the top of the turn and scored one for the boys at Turfway Park Monday, completing the inaugural running of the St. Patrick’s Day Handicap in near-track record time. The dappled gray gelding drew off under a hand ride to finish 8 1/4 lengths ahead of Atticus Kristy, who got up to finish half a length better than the even-money favorite, Lady Belsara.
TImbucto got the first jump but Lady Belsara, the lone mare in the sprint for older horses, was up quickly to challenge. She reeled off blazing fractions of :21.92 and :44.71 before yielding to Korbyn Gold, who waited a length or two behind the speed duel. Final time for the six furlongs was 1:08.73, barely off the track record of 1:08.40.
"We were about in the middle of the field, and I swung him out slowly so we wouldn’t blow the turn—just picked it up slowly," said winning jockey Victor Lebron. "Around the quarter pole I just let him run his race and he ran big. I chirped to him and he just picked it up and went on. He was running so fast, and he was doing it easy."
Behind Lady Belsara came Markum, Raedonald, National Day, Wait On Tate, and Timbucto. Blazing Bull and Impressive Command scratched.
The 4-1 third choice, Korbyn Gold paid $10.80, $6.40, and $4.00.
The $50,000 purse for the St. Patrick's Day Handicap includes a $24,600 supplement from the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund. Foaled in Kentucky and sired by a stallion standing in Kentucky, Korbyn Gold was eligible for the full purse and added $31,266 to his bankroll. A 7-year-old son of Gold Case, he now has 15 wins, 10 seconds, and 5 thirds in 48 career starts for $465,523 in career earnings. Korbyn Gold is owned by Scarlet Stable and trained by Mike Maker.
Presenting the trophy was Hall of Fame jockey Steve Cauthen, Turfway's guest for a special day commemorating his legendary 1978 Triple Crown triumph aboard Affirmed.
Racing resumes at Turfway Park on Wednesday, with first post at 1:10pm.