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HISTORY REPEATS IN THE KUBOTA KENTUCKY CUP CLASSIC AT TURFWAY PARK

Sunday, March 10, 2019 1:28 PM
  • Spiral Stakes

HISTORY REPEATS IN THE KUBOTA KENTUCKY CUP CLASSIC AT TURFWAY PARK
Princess Warrior Proves the Class of the Field in the Latonia Stakes

March 9, 2019 (FLORENCE, Ky.) – Nun the Less ran down Lanier in the 1 1/8-Prairie Bayou Stakes at Turfway Park in December to win by a length and it was deja vu all over again Saturday as Nun the Less caught Lanier just inside the eighth pole to win the $100,000 Kubota Kentucky Cup Classic at the same track at the same distance by the same margin. Midnight Pleasure was a distant eight lengths back in third.

Nun the Less sat comfortably three or so lengths behind as Lanier battled early with Royal Son. Lanier took over to set the half mile in :48.46 and the mile in 1:37.51, but once Nun the Less collared him with less than a furlong to run, the outcome was no longer in doubt. Final time for the nine-furlong test was 1:50.79.

“It’s a mile and an eighth, so it’s good to sit back, especially when they’re up close together [in the front],” said winning trainer Cipriano Contreras. “He got a good trip today. He’s a nice older horse. He looked like he was on a mission when he got [to the leader].”

“My trip worked out good, thanks to God,” said winning jockey Walter De La Cruz. “Thanks to the trainer, I’ve seen a lot of improvement. I was little concerned about the horse in front of me [Lanier] at the three-eighths, but room opened up and my horse ran him down.”

Nun the Less was the 2-1 favorite in the field of eight older horses and paid $6.60, $3.60 and $3.

Bred by Claiborne Farm, the 7-year-old Candy Ride (ARG) gelding is out of the Forest Wildcat mare Nunnery. His record improved to eight wins, four seconds and eight thirds from 30 starts and earnings of $451,603. He is owned by Crystal Racing Enterprises and Contreras Stable Inc.

Princess Warrior Proves the Class of the Field in the Latonia Stakes

Jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. sent Princess Warrior through a hole on the rail leaving the top of the final turn and running room was all the classy mare needed to score by 3 ¾ lengths in the Latonia Stakes at Turfway Park Saturday. Eqho was second, a nose in front of Silent Sonet in third. Final time for the mile race over Polytrack was 1:38.67.

“I had the right horse underneath me,” said winning jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. She was coming from a couple graded races—a Grade 1 last time out at Santa Anita [fifth in the American Oaks]. She was the best horse in the race. It was just a matter of letting her develop underneath me and give her the best clean trip possible.”

Rivals traded the lead through the first half of the race for older fillies and mares, with Orecchiette out first to set the first quarter in :24.42 and Twin Channel taking over to set the half in :48.19 before Princess Warrior took advantage of the open rail to lead from the quarter-pole home.

Trainer Kenny McPeek explained why he chose the black type Latonia Stakes for his Grade 2-winning filly. “It was a nice class drop for her. I could’ve run her in Florida in the Honey Fox and it would’ve been a much tougher race, but taking them from 3-year-olds to 4-year-olds, you have to step that ladder, and this was a really good spot for her. I think that most horses that handle the turf can handle the Polytrack.”

Winner of the Mrs. Revere Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs two starts back, Princess Warrior was the Latonia Stakes 9-5 favorite and returned $5.80, $4 and $3.80.

By Midshipman out of Sessa, by Consolidator, 4-year-old Princess Warrior was bred by George Veloudis Jr. and is owned by Evan Trommer, Matthew Trommer and Andrew Trommer. The Latonia Stakes win improved her record to four wins, three seconds and two thirds in 16 starts and $454,331 in earnings.

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