(Seize the Grey / Photos by Holly M. Smith)

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

SEIZE THE GREY WINS PAT DAY MILE PRESENTED BY SAP

MyRacehorse’s Seize the Grey wore down longtime leader Vlahos at the sixteenth pole and held off a final bid from favored Nash by 1 ¼ lengths to win the 100th running of the $600,000 Pat Day Mile presented by SAP (GII) for 3-year-olds Saturday afternoon.

Trained by D. Wayne Lukas and ridden by Jaime Torres, Seize the Grey covered the mile on a fast track in 1:35.96. It is the fourth win in the race for Lukas.

Vlahos led the field of 12 through fractions of :22.12 and :44.59 while under token pressure from Otto the Conqueror and Nash. Vlahos continued to lead the field into the stretch but his advantage began to diminish at midstretch as the rest of the field closed in.

Seize the Grey put his head in front at the sixteenth pole and spurted clear to notch his first stakes victory.

Seize the Grey returned $20.84, $7.94 and $5.16. Nash, ridden by Florent Geroux, returned $4.46 and $3.22 and finished head in front of Vlahos, who paid $5.50 to show under Edwin Maldonado.

Finishing a nose back in fourth was Who Dey with Top Conor, Carbone, Beeline, Guanare,Northern Flame, Otto the Conqueror, Gettysburg Address and Frosty Indulgence following in order.

 

PAT DAY MILE QUOTES

 

Jaime Torres (jockey, Seize the Grey, winner) – “I could tell I was loaded around the three-eighths pole. He went back into the bridle really strong and never gave in. What an amazing atmosphere and race to win.”

 Wayne Lukas (trainer, Seize the Grey, winner) – “I can’t remember the last time I was in the winner’s circle with Pat Day. This horse is a very special horse who is owned by so many happy people. He ran the race of his life this afternoon and it’s such a great way to kick off our Derby Day.”

 Florent Geroux (jockey, Nash, second) – “After a half of a mile, I thought I was in a good spot but I hoped he would have finished stronger for me. When I asked him run, it took him a little while to get the engine going. I was able to save second but he had to fight very hard to get it.”

 Edwin Maldonado (jockey, Vlahos, third) – “He gave me a helluva run. I thought I was going to be able to make the rail, but they pushed me outside. He gave everything he had. At the eighth pole he changed leads on me. He was out of gas but he still kept trying. Heck of a race for a horse going a mile for the first time.