(King Fury / Photos by Holly M. Smith)

From the Churchill Downs Media Team:

King Fury, named after superstar boxer Tyson Fury, collared odds-on 4-5 favorite Super Stock inside the final furlong and grinded his way to a half-length victory in Sunday’s eighth running of the $98,000 Street Sense Overnight Stakes on opening day of Churchill Downs’ 24-day Fall Meet.

“This is a Kentucky Derby-type horse,” winning trainer Kenny McPeek said. “We may look at the (Nov. 6) Breeders’ Cup Juvenile but more than likely just wait for the (Nov. 28) Kentucky Jockey Club. The future is very bright for a horse like this.”

Brian Hernandez Jr. rode the well-bred 2-year-old colt for McPeek and owners Fern Circle Stables (Paul Fireman) and Three Chimneys Farm LLC (Goncalo Torrealba). The son of 2007-08 Horse of the Year Curlin ran 1 1/16 miles over a fast track in 1:44.30.

Purchased for $950,000 at Fasig-Tipton’s 2019 Saratoga Sale, King Fury is the first foal out of six-time stakes winner and 2016 Humana Distaff (Grade I) hero Taris.

Breaking from post No. 4 in the field of six juveniles, King Fury rated just behindFranz Josef and Super Stock as the leader rattled off comfortable early quarter-mile clips of :24.60, :49.51 and 1:14.34. King Fury circled three-wide around the final turn as Super Stock took over leaving the final turn. The chestnut colt with a big white blaze found his best running in deep stretch and held off Super Stock as the two battled on determinedly to the wire. A half-length separated the top two at the finish and it was another 3 ¾ lengths back to third-place finisher Oncoming Train.

King Fury, who earned $59,835 for the win and improved his record to 3-2-0-0—$116,979, paid $7.40, $3.40 and $3 as the 5-2 second betting choice. Super Stock, ridden byRicardo Santana Jr., returned $2.80 and $2.40. Oncoming Train, with Rafael Bejarano up, paid $3.

Arabian Prince finished fourth and was followed by Franz Josef and Crime Spree. Eucharist was scratched.

King Fury, bred in Kentucky by Heider Family Stables, broke his maiden by 2 ¾ lengths in his career debut on Sept. 3 at Churchill Downs, but subsequently finished eighth one month later after racing four-wide throughout in the $400,000 Breeders’ Futurity (GI) at Keeneland.

“His last race at Keeneland was pretty puzzling because we thought he’d run a lot better than he did,” McPeek said. “I think the track ended up being pretty forward that day and his trip didn’t really help things.”

Should McPeek bypass the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile which comes 12 days after the Street Sense, King Fury could vie for favoritism in the $200,000 Kentucky Jockey Club (GII), a 1 1/16-mile race for 2-year-olds at Churchill Downs on Saturday, Nov. 28. The Kentucky Jockey Club is part of the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” point series that will determine the field of 20 horses that will compete in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (GI) at Churchill Downs on Saturday, May 1.

The Street Sense is named in honor of 2007 Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense who became the first horse to win the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI) as a 2-year-old and the Run for the Roses at age 3. He also was the first Champion Two-Year-Old Colt to win the Kentucky Derby since Spectacular Bid who won the Kentucky Derby in 1979.

Each of Sunday’s races was for 2-year-olds, and Sunday marked the first time spectators watched live racing at Churchill Downs since Dec. 1, 2019, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. A limited attendance of 1,534 was on-hand with proper social distancing as Churchill Downs followed the COVID-19 health and safety protocols for Venues and Events as mandated by the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Racing continues every Wednesday-Sunday at 1 p.m. ET through Sunday, Nov. 29.

(Coach winning the Rags to Riches Stakes / Photo by Holly M. Smith)

COACH REMAINS PERFECT IN THREE STARTS WITH RAGS TO RICHES TRIUMPH

 Coach remained unbeaten in three starts when she drew away from Lady Traveler in deep stretch to win Sunday’s eighth running of the $98,000 Rags to Riches Overnight Stakes for 2-year-old fillies by 2 ½ lengths on opening day at Churchill Downs.

Ridden by Florent Geroux and trained by Brad Cox, Coach ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:45.14 while making her two-turn debut. Previously she recorded dominant victories in sprints at Indiana Grand, including a 4 ¼-length maiden win and a first-level allowance score by 9 ¾ lengths.

Malibu Bird and Salty as Can Be dictated the Rags to Riches pace as they led the field of nine 2-year-old fillies through opening splits of :23.44, :47.98 and 1:12.98. Coach tracked from third in the clear down the backstretch and took over the lead leaving the far turn. Lady Traveler rallied into contention down the stretch but was no match for Coach who drew clear late.

“We sat a really good trip all along,” said Geroux, who has won the Rags to Riches in three of the last four years (note: the other wins came with Monomoy Girl in 2017 andMother Mother in 2018). “It was her first time at two turns and she really handled the extra distance well. We galloped out really strong, too.”

Coach paid $6.80, $4.40 and $3.40 as the second betting choice. Lady Traveler, ridden by Joe Talamo, returned $5.60 and $4.20. It was another 1 ½ lengths back in third toOliviaofthedesert, who paid $4.20 under Brian Hernandez Jr.

Dash to the Top, 2-1 favorite Midnight Ballerina, Torsie’s Charm, Orsetto, Malibu Bird and Salty as Can Be completed the running order.

Sunday’s payday was worth $58,440 and Coach improved her record to 3-3-0-0—$96,540 for owner Rick Kueber’s Kueber Racing LLC.

By Commissioner, Coach is a Kentucky-bred filly out of the Exchange Rate mare And Stay Out. She was bred by Three Lyons Racing.

“With the pedigree, we thought she would like the extra distance,” Cox said. “With a horse making their start around two turns for the first time, you never really know how they’ll handle the extra ground. She showed today that she loved it.”

Sunday’s race is named in honor of Derrick Smith and Michael Tabor’s 2007 Kentucky Oaks (GI) winner. Three years ago, Michael Dubb and Monomoy Stables’Monomoy Girl, also trained by Cox, cruised to a 6 ½-length score in the Rags to Riches prior to her triumph in the 2018 Kentucky Oaks.

 

STREET SENSE STAKES QUOTES

Kenny McPeek, trainer of KING FURY (winner): “His last race at Keeneland was pretty puzzling because we thought he’d run a lot better than he did. I think the track ended up being pretty forward that day and his trip didn’t really help things. This is a Kentucky Derby-type horse. We may look at the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile but more than likely just wait for the (Nov. 28) Kentucky Jockey Club. The future is very bright for a horse like this.”

RAGS TO RICHES STAKES QUOTES

Florent Geroux, jockey of COACH (winner): “We sat a really good trip all along. It was her first time at two turns and she really handled the extra distance well. We galloped out really strong, too.”

Brad Cox, trainer of COACH (winner): “With the pedigree, we thought she would like the extra distance. With a horse making their start around two turns for the first time, you never really know how they’ll handle the extra ground. She showed today that she loved it.”

Dale Romans, trainer of LADY TRAVELER (runner-up): “She ran a great race going a route of ground for the first time. She’s only been six furlongs in her first two starts but the pedigree had us confident she’d like the extra distance.”