(Private Creed wins the G2, $1 Million Exacta Systems Franklin-Simpson Stakes at KY Downs / All Photos by Coady Photography)
From the KY Downs Media Team / Dick Downey:
7th running of the $1,000,000 Exacta Systems Franklin-Simpson (G2), 3-year-olds, 6 1/2 furlongs, includes KTDF of $400,000
Jockey Joel Rosario, 1st, Private Creed – On riding a repeat winner: “It seems like they run really well over the track. This horse tries had all the time. It seems like he really loves it here.
How was your trip: “It looked like I was in a good spot right in the beginning of the race. It looked like he was responding really well for me and getting over the track really well. We had to work things out turning for home. The horse that was in front of me kind of moved off the rail a little bit and then he came back in. I had horse and was just trying to keep riding him and hopefully if I can maybe go inside at some point and then come out. He came off the rail and I just took it.”
Steve Asmussen, winning trainer, Private Creed:
(On race at Churchill May 13, when fifth in the William Walker on May 13, then was off until he was second in the Aug. 13 Mahony at Saratoga)
“He had an open cut. And we just waited and waited on that. It was at a point in his ankle so we didn’t train him at all until it healed up.”
(What about his Keeneland race; fifth in the Palisades?) “It didn’t happen. And Keeneland in the spring is different than Keeneland in the fall. It really is.”
“Had a lot of confidence in him off the race at Saratoga. It was a little soft, but he needed it and he trained beautifully into this race. And this was the target for him since he won over here last year. Very important for us to have a little success here, with (major client) Ron (Winchell) being a partner on owning the racetrack.
(And now the target is next year’s $1 million Ainsworth Turf Sprint against older horses?) “Absolutely. Hope we have another Snapper Sinclair on our hands. But it is great to have a horse that has an affinity for this course because of how rich the purses are.”
(How about Joel Rosario?) “Dream trip. Just as good as it gets. He got away from there well, so he put him in hand and he was comfortable. He’s a really big horse; and that was away extremely well for him. And Joel put him in the pocket, came right up the fence.”
Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint? “Absolutely. Heck yes. Whether we run him back between now and then I’m not sure. We’ll have to see how much this took out of him.”
(This was 6 1/2 furlongs. Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint is five furlongs at Santa Anita) “I think when he’s right, he’s extremely good and we’re very thankful. Scott (Blasi) did a wonderful job with him. Off the race at Churchill we were very concerned. Big open gash on him and stuff, but it healed up extremely well. It did take longer than we were wanting it to, but he was back just in time. He clipped heels and I believe it was his other leg hitting himself.”
Trainer Jack Sisterson, 5th, Behind Enemy Lines – “He ran his race. He was drawn wide and he was kind of hung wide the whole way. He made his move but was just bet by better horses today.
Did the draw compromise his chances: “I don’t think if we would have drawn inside that we would have beaten the winner. It might have been closer. He ran a good race. We’re happy with him.”