It was supposed to be an old-fashioned showdown between some good old friends, by the likes of Oscar Nominated and Undrafted, and One Go All Go, and Gio’s Calling. But after all those horses — who were slated to be and among the favorites — were scratched, the 3rd running of the Old Friends Stakes at Kentucky Downs turned into not much more than a shouting match.
At the end, Sir Dudley Digges — who was an 8-1 Morning Line outsider when the day began — ran down the leader Thatcher Street to win the $150,000 Stakes by a head over the European-styled grass course near Bowling Green Kentucky.
Gliding Alone, who was originally a 30-1 long shot who turned into a 46-1 bomb, came along to finish third, in front of Italian Charm, One Mean Man and Chocolate Ride.
Tyler Gaffalione, a riding sensation all year in Southern Florida, was up for the winning ride and helped Sir Dudley Digges cover the 1 mile and 70 yards in fractions of :26.03, :50.34, and 1:14.89 before posting a final time of 1:48.43.
Sir Dudley Digges, a 4-year-old son of Gio Ponti and out of the Kris S. mare My Pal Lana, was bred in Ontario by Bernard and Karen McCormack and is now owned by the team of Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey, from Nicholasville, KY.
The victory is the fifth title for Sir Dudley Digges, who has now hit the board in 13 of 18 lifetime starts, and it marked his second career Stakes victory. The colt had previously captured the restricted Queen’s Plate over the synthetic surface at Woodbine Racecourse on July 3, 2016.
The winner returned $11, $4.80 and $4.20 for the support. Thatcher Street, trained by Ian Wilkes and ridden by son-in-law Chris Landeros, returned $6.40 and $3.80. Gliding Alone, with James Graham in the saddle, paid $6.20 to his backers.
Sir Dudley Digges has now earned over $750,000 in his career.