(Bango wins the Kelly’s Landing Stakes at Ellis Park on Saturday / All Photos by Coady Photography)

From the Churchill Downs Media Team / Kevin Kerstein:


 Tamaroak Farm’s Bango added to his already impressive resume by taking a field of six sprinters wire-to-wire in Saturday’s $225,000 Kelly’s Landing (Listed) at Ellis Park Racing & Gaming.

          Bango, a 6-year-old homebred son of Congrats, boosted his resume to 32-13-4-2 with earnings of $1,275,811.

          With the early scratch of Fortin Hill from the rail, Bango and jockey Tyler Gaffalione broke from the inside post. Gaffalione sent Bango to the lead, a position he hasn’t been in since July 24, 2022 when he finished sixth after setting the early fractions of the Jeff Hall Memorial. Up the backside, Bango clipped off an opening quarter-mile fraction of :22.29 with Marsalis and jockey Joel Rosario applying mild pressure to his outside. As Bango entered the stretch, Marsalis began heavily pressuring Bango on his outside while Miles ahead started to close to his inside. Bango was determined on the lead and never let any of his rivals by to score a half-length victory.

          “The credit goes to Greg (Foley) and his entire team for having this horse ready to go all the time,” Gaffalione said. “We broke from the inside but he broke on top today. I just let him settle since he broke on top and let him do his thing. Up the backside he had his ears up like he was waiting for horses. He hasn’t really been in that position before. In the stretch when the field started closing ground he kept digging in and wasn’t going to let anyone by.”

          “The money spends the same at Ellis as it does at Churchill,” Foley said. “We’ll just have to get that all-time winning victory at Churchill next time. He’s still one away, don’t think I’m not thinking about it every day. This horse is very special to us. He’s part of a great breeding program by Fred and Debbie Schwartz. I trained his mom (Josaka) and have a 2-year-old brother of his in the barn that I love. I hope he can be half as good as his older brother. It was great to win this race today. Bango showed a slightly new dimension being on the lead but it didn’t seem to bother him any.”

          Bango completed the 6 ½-furlong distance of the Kelly’s Landing in 1:15.02 over the “fast” dirt course.

          Here are the full results for the Kelly’s Landing (with $2 mutuel payouts):

  1. Bango ($4.30, $3.14, $2.30)
  2. Marsalis (X, $4.98, $4.28)
  3. Miles Ahead (X, X, $3.44)
  4. Tejano Twist
  5. Happy Jack
  6. Surveillance

          Additional quotes from the Kelly’s Landing:

Joel Rosario, jockey, Marsalis, runner-up: “He ran a good race today and was up close. He was trying hard down the stretch but the winner never gave way and we were second best.”