(Delahaye captures the G3 Old Forester Mint Julep at Churchill Downs on Sunday / All Photos by Coady Media)

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

DELAHAYE DRIVES HOME TO WIN GRADE III, $249,668 OLD FORESTER MINT JULEP

 

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Sunday, June 2, 2024)Delahaye, owned by William H. Lawrence and Three Chimneys Farm, relaxed early and finished late with a powerful closing kick to score a 1 ¾-length victory over Heavenly Sunday in Sunday’s 48th running of the $249,668 Old Forester Mint Julep Stakes (Grade III) at Churchill Downs.

Delahaye, trained by Chad Brown and ridden by Tyler Gaffalione, ran 1 1/16 miles on “yielding” turf in 1:45.46.

          This was the first graded stakes win for Delahaye, who previously finished third in the $750,000 Longines Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (GII) behind Chili Flag (FR) and Coppice (GB) on the Kentucky Derby undercard.

Safeen led the field of eight fillies and mares throughout the early stages of the race through quarter-mile splits of :24.47, :49.70 and 1:14.16 as Heavenly Sunday tracked and Delahaye relaxed in sixth position. Midway around the final turn, Delahaye commenced her closing kick with a four-wide move. She entered the upper stretch widest of all, drove down the lane and caught Heavenly Sunday and Safeen just before the final sixteenth-of-a-mile marker for the comfortable win.

“All credit goes to Chad and his team,’ Gaffalione said. “His team did a great job of getting her ready for this start. Today was her second race this year at Churchill and I could tell I had a lot of horse beneath me. She was traveling very well throughout the entire race and turning for home she had a really nice kick. She’s been impressive in her prior races being able to show a lot of different dimensions in her running styles. I just try to stay out of her way the best I can.”

Delahaye returned $4.36, $3.60 and $2.58 as the even-money favorite. Heavenly Sunday, under Florent Geroux at odds of 3-1, paid $3.88 and $3.10. Safeen, with Luis Saez up at 18-1, was another half-length back in third and paid $6.16 to show.

It was another 1 ¼ lengths back to Be My Sunshine in fourth, who was followed by Misread, Fuente Ovejuna (GB), Excellent Question and Immensitude (FR). X Guanare and Devilsgotacause were scratched.

The $150,315 first prize jumped Delahaye’s earnings to $416,715 with a record of 4-1-1 in six starts.

Delahaye is a 4-year-old daughter of Medaglia d’Oro out of the War Front mare Bella Carina and was bred in Kentucky by Three Chimneys Farms LLC.

OLD FORESTER MINT JULEP QUOTES

Tyler Gaffalione (jockey, Delahaye, winner): “All credit goes to (trainer) Chad (Brown) and his team. His team did a great job of getting her ready for this start. Today was her second race this year at Churchill and I could tell I had a lot of horse beneath me. She was traveling very well throughout the entire race and turning for home she had a really nice kick. She’s been impressive in her prior races being able to show a lot of different dimensions in her running styles. I just try to stay out of her way the best I can.”

 

Brad Cox (trainer, Heavenly Sunday, runner-up): “She sat a really good trip and tried to go on with the winner but just ended up being second best today. She ran a good race.”