Kentucky-breds Gamine and Flagstaff recorded Grade 1 wins on the Kentucky Derby undercard at Churchill Downs on May 1, with Gamine running her rivals off their feet in the Derby City Distaff Stakes (G1) and Flagstaff prevailing in a blanket finish in the Churchill Downs Stakes (G1).
Despite stumbling at the start, Gamine made short work of her rivals in the $500,000 Derby City Distaff, winning the seven-furlong event by 1 ½ lengths in 1:21.50. It was the fourth Grade 1 victory for Gamine, who also owns wins in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1), the Test Stakes (G1) and the Acorn Stakes (G1).
“She didn’t get to the break I hoped for, but she bounced back really quickly and ran really easy in the early going,” said winning rider John Velazquez. “She showed what a champion she was, and I was proud of my filly.”
Owned by Michael Lund Petersen and trained by Bob Baffert, Gamine was bred in the Bluegrass by Grace Thoroughbred Holdings. The 4-year-old daughter of perennial leading sire Into Mischief is out of the Kafwain mare Peggy Jane. Gamine was a $220,000 graduate of the Keeneland September Sale where she was consigned by Summerfield and purchased by Grand Oaks. She was sold again at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Sale as a 2-year-old where she was purchased by Petersen (Donato Lanni signed the ticket as agent) for $1.8 million out of Bobby Dodd’s consignment.
Gamine’s victory also marked a milestone for her trainer. Baffert moved past D. Wayne Lukas as the all-time leader in Grade 1 wins with 220.
“I didn’t know I was that close to the record until a month ago,” Baffert said. “To do it here (at Churchill Downs) on this big day is very special. I’m just happy for Gamine. She got the job done.”
Lane’s End Racing and Hronis Racing’s Flagstaff got up in the final yards to win a thrilling renewal of the $500,000 Churchill Downs Stakes (G1) for trainer John Sadler.
Ridden by Luis Saez, Flagstaff covered seven furlongs in 1:21.82. The $288,300 winner’s share of the purse increased Flagstaff’s bankroll to $991,585. His record now stands at 19-7-6-3 and includes three Graded stakes scores. Flagstaff is a 7-year-old gelded son of Speightstown out of the A.P. Indy mare Indyan Giving. He was bred in Kentucky by Summer Wind Farm and was a $475,000 purchase by Mayberry Farm at the 2015 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale.