(Nothing Better wins the Mighty Beau Stakes at Churchill Downs on Saturday / Photos by Coady Media)

From the Churchill Downs’ Media Team / Darren Rogers & Kevin Kerstein:

NOTHING BETTER WINS $225,000 MIGHTY BEAU AT CHURCHILL DOWNS

 

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Saturday, June 8, 2024)Colts Neck Stables LLC’s 7-year-old gelding Nothing Better chased pacesetter Yes I Am Free in the early stages, spurted clear with a furlong to run and turned back a late run by Mischievous Rouge to win Saturday’s eighth running of the $224,875 Mighty Beau Stakes (Listed) at Churchill Downs by a half-length.

Nothing Better, trained by Jorge Duarte Jr., ran five furlongs on “firm” turf in :56.64 under Gerardo Corrales to collect his fourth career stakes win.

“We thought about running in the Jaipur (GI) but the forecast at Saratoga called for rain and we knew he wanted a firm turf course,” said Colt Neck Stables’ owner Richard Santulli. “We made the right decision running here. We’ll obviously keep him turf sprinting this summer and if we can get to the Breeders’ Cup, great.”

Sent to post as the 3-1 second betting choice, Nothing Better paid $8.42, $5.24 and $3.52. Mischievous Rouge, who rallied from last under Luan Machado at odds of 5-1, returned $6.28 and $3.90. Mo Stash, the 2-1 favorite, was another three-quarters of a length back in third under Rafael Bejarano and paid $3.24 to show.

Charcoal, Bad Beat Brian, Edge to Edge, Ryvit, Yes I Am Free and Panther Island completed the order of finish. Clear the Air and Kaufymaker were scratched.

Nothing Better, who chased early fractions of :21.65 and :44.59, earned $134,040 for the win and improved his career record to 10-5-3 in 27 starts with earnings of $701,382.

“He broke very well and just took me right to the lead,” Corrales said. “He fought hard to hold everyone off.”

Nothing Better, a son of Munnings out of the Duke of Marmalade (IRE) mare One True Love (IRE), was bred in Kentucky by Don Alberto Corporation.

The Mighty Beau is named in honor of graded stakes winner Mighty Beau, who boasted a record of 75-12-19-10—$646,000 from 2001-08. The Oklahoma-bred gelded son of Rainbow Prospect made a record five starts in the Twin Spires Turf Sprint (then known as the Aegon Turf Sprint) from 2002-06, winning the race in 2005 at age 6 for owners Mike Cloonan and Anthony Carolan, trainer Jeff Mullins and jockey Pat Valenzuela.

Racing at Churchill Downs continues Sunday with a nine-race program that begins at 12:45 p.m. (all times Eastern). There are two stakes events: the $175,000 Leslie’s Lady Overnight Stakes (Race 4 at 2:13 p.m.) and Grade III, $400,000 Matt Winn (Race 8 at 4:22 p.m.).

Sunday doubles as Family Adventure Day, featuring more than 15 kid-friendly activities for children under 12 including face painting, sports inflatables and an obstacle course, game zone with cornhole, giant Jenga, checkers and tick-tac-toe, arts and crafts stations and Charlie’s Corner with soft play and toddler bounce area. Children can also register for a chance to participate in stick horse races in the Churchill Downs Paddock from 11:30 a.m.-2:15 p.m.

General admission is $9 for adults and up to two children are free with each paying adult. Gates open at 11:30 a.m. and first post is 12:45 p.m. Access to the Family Adventure Day activities will be inside the Paddock Gate.

          For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.churchilldowns.com.

MIGHTY BEAU QUOTES

 

Gerardo Corrales (jockey, Nothing Better, winner): “He broke very well and just took me right to the lead. He fought hard to hold everyone off.”

 

Richard Santulli (owner, Nothing Better, winner): “We thought about running in the Jaipur (GI) but the forecast at Saratoga called for rain and we knew he wanted a firm turf course. We made the right decision running here. We’ll obviously keep him turf sprinting this summer and if we can get to the Breeders’ Cup, great.”

Luan Machado (jockey, Mischievous Rogue, runner-up): “He ran a huge race and came flying late. Another couple of jumps and I think I would’ve gotten there.”