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Homeracing

Alsvid defends Aristides title at Churchill Downs

Profile Picture: Jen Caldwell

Jen Caldwell

June 4th, 2016

Alsvid was trying for back-to-back wins in Saturday’s $100,000 Aristides (G3) at Churchill Downs, and the Chris Hartman trainee became just the second two-time winner of the race when holding by a head on the wire.

Jockey Chris Landeros sent Alsvid from the very start, and the Officer gelding pressed the early pace of :22.08 and :45.10 set by Union Jackson. Alsvid angled into the four path entering the stretch and slipped up between rivals to take command. He just held as 4-5 favorite Limousine Liberal put in a sustained rally that got the best of Union Jackson but failed to catch the winner in time.

Alsvid finished six furlongs over Churchill’s fast main track in 1:08.26, besting his time of 1:09.20 recorded for the 2015 running of the race. He paid $8.80 as the near 7-2 third choice.

Limousine Liberal was a half-length up on Union Jackson on the wire, while Barbardos finished another 5 1/2 lengths behind in fourth. Schivarelli and Grande Basin completed the order under the line.

Alsvid joins fellow multiple Grade 3-winning millionaire Bet on Sunshine as the only two-time winners of the Aristides, with the latter doing so in 2000-01 as an eight- and nine-year-old.

Campaigned by James Rogers’ Black Hawk Stable, seven-year-old Alsvid earned his first victory of 2016 in this spot after going 0-3-3 from six prior starts, including runner-up efforts in the Twin Spires Turf Sprint (G3) and Count Fleet Sprint H. (G3) in his past two.

Alsvid is now 14-11-7 from 42 career races and has banked $1,233,998 in lifetime earnings. He boasts 10 total stakes wins, including the 2015 running of the Count Fleet Sprint, and 13 black-type placings, including a third in the Bet on Sunshine S. to close out his six-year-old campaign last November.

Bred in Kentucky by Yanagawa Stud Ltd., Alsvid was purchased by Rogers as a $55,000 OBS Spring two-year-old in training. He is the first registered stakes winner out of the Afternoon Deelites mare Reagle Mary, who is a half-sister to 2003 Santa Anita Derby (G1) victor Buddy Gil.

One race before the Aristides, Latent Revenge wired the $63,920 Mighty Beau Overnight S. by a half-length under Francisco Torres. The Greg Foley-trained four-year-old ran five furlongs on the firm turf in :57.52.

ARISTIDES QUOTES

Chris Landeros, jockey Alsvid, winner: “He’s got it, man. Honestly though, 1:08 and 1/5, I can’t say he lost a step. He’s pretty incredible. I’m kind of speechless today more than anything. He beat some real nice horses today. He’s the best I’ve ridden, he’s the highlight and I always tell my wife, Shelby, that he paid for my house so I owe him a lot. He put me in some good spots. He ran great all year and we went to the Breeders’ Cup last year which is pretty tough. I’m just really happy for the connections and for the owners. They didn’t lose faith in him, gave him a little time and all the credit goes to them.”

Chris Hartman, trainer Alsvid, winner: “He’s the gift for sure. He did a good job. Chris put a beautiful ride on him so it was a perfect trip, perfect ride and everything went smooth. That’s a perfect race for that horse, it was a good race. I don’t really have any plans for a next start, nothing is penciled in. I’ll just see how he comes out and look around and find a spot for him.”

Ben Colebrook, trainer Limousine Liberal, runner-up: “He just didn’t quite get there, and that’s been a little bit of a habit for him here at Churchill Downs. Turns might be a little tight for him. He had to go wide anyway to get by those other horses, but he’s kind of going a little wider than he has to. He lost a little ground there and when you only get beat that far, it can make the difference.

“But hats off to Alsvid – he ran a monster race. I thought we had a beautiful trip behind him. I thought they were going plenty fast enough and I thought we were going to get by them and almost did, but just didn’t quite get there.

“But (Limousine Liberal’s) only a four-year-old and we’re still excited about the future. We’re licking our wounds now and I don’t know what he’s going to have to do to win a graded stake. He runs 1:08 and gets beat and gets beat in a Grade 1 (King’s Bishop) going that fast. He’s probably one of the most-accomplished non-stakes winners that there’s ever been.

Any thoughts on the next stop for Limousine Liberal? “Because of the turn situation and he’s such a big horse and might benefit from wide turns, Belmont Park’s always been kind of an idea to go up there. You’ve got the Belmont Sprint Championship (G3) up there on the 9th of July at seven-eighths.

“I know that he didn’t run one of his better races at seven-eighths (in the Churchill Downs S. [G2]) here on Derby Day, but I think the pace scenario kind of cooked us that day. I think 6 1/2 or seven (furlongs) is maybe a little better than six – I don’t know. We’re still kind of figuring this horse out. He hasn’t run very many times. But we’re looking at Belmont and Saratoga, he ran big up there last year.”

Corey Lanerie, jockey Limousine Liberal, runner-up: “He broke a step tardy, and to be honest I didn’t know what to expect leaving the gate. I thought me or Union Jackson would be in front, and when he left like that I was going to sit right on Union Jackson’s outside. I actually loved the position with the 5-horse (Alsvid) putting pressure on him, but the sleeper caught me.

“Alsvid ran a hell of a race today and (trainer) Chris (Hartman) did a great job. We were second-best today, but I was loving my spot in the middle of the turn and we just weren’t good enough.”

MIGHTY BEAU QUOTES

Francisco Torres, jockey Latent Revenge, winner: “He’s a rapid horse and going five-eighths of a mile, it would take a really good horse to beat him. He loves the grass. We had everything going our way and he prevailed.”

Greg Foley, trainer Latent Revenge, winner: “This was a big win. Anytime you win a race at Churchill is nice, much less a stake like this one.

“It was much easier company than what he’s been in with the last two times going up against the best turf sprinters in the country. There were a lot less horses in today.

“He’s a nice horse. He’s very fast and we really liked him. We thought we had a shot at Keeneland – we weren’t just going there to run him – but we went ridiculous fractions and got beat. Derby Day we were disappointed in his race, he gave it up, too. The same horse (Rocket Heat) he went head-to-head with at Keeneland ended up winning the race and we stopped.

“This race came up so we pointed back for it and we got the job done today. It’s a good thing the rain held off.”

Alsvid photo courtesy of Churchill Downs/Coady Photography

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