Another Big Win for Favorite Da Big Hoss at Kentucky Downs
Da Big Hoss took command in the long stretch run of Saturday’s $600,000 Grade III Calumet Farm Kentucky Turf Cup, circling the early leaders and drawing off to win by 1 1/4 lengths. It was the second straight win in this Kentucky Downs event and fourth consecutive victory overall for the 5-year-old son of Lemon Drop Kid.
Eight challengers took aim at Da Big Hoss, the 2-5 favorite with jockey Florent Geroux aboard. But with no early speedsters in the race, Da Big Hoss seized command near the three-sixteenths pole and it was clear nobody was going to catch him. Da Big Hoss finished the 1 ½ miles in 2:35.08 over turf made yielding by a mid-program thunderstorm.
Two long shots set the early pace and held on for second and third, setting up a $2 exacta score of $24.60 and a $2 trifecta of $354.80. Bullard’s Alley (18-1) and Rum Tum Tugger (60-1) both battled on and finished willingly. Greengrassofyoming, who took a lot of late money at 4-1, made a bid in the stretch run but flattened out and finished fourth.
“I’ve been riding him all year long and got some big wins with him and he’s just a very unique horse to ride,” said Geroux. “You need to ride confident, but you also cannot give him too much to do and make things impossible.”
Trainer Mike Maker said the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Santa Anita is on the agenda for Da Big Hoss. He’ll likely train his star up to the November 5 race, where he’ll likely face Flintshire. “All I can say,” Maker said thinking of Flintshire, “is he (Da Big Hoss) is the second-best marathon horse in the United States.”
Da Big Hoss, out of the Touch Gold mare Lady Struck Gold, boosted his earnings to $1,551,696 with his 12th win from 21 starts. He has won eight races, including seven stakes, since being claimed for $50,000 at Churchill Downs‘ 2015 spring meet.