Atta Boy Roy wins Churchill Downs Handicap | Horse Racing
May 1, 2010 · 9:44 PM
Valorie Lund said Atta Boy Roy would run a smashing race in the Grade 2 Churchill Downs Handicap, and the veteran trainer proved to be a prophet.
With three-time Kentucky Derby-winning jockey Calvin Borel in the saddle, the Washington-bred 5-year-old shocked a world-class field in Saturday’s $250,000 Churchill Downs Handicap at Churchill Downs.
Atta Boy Roy led gate-to-wire for a half-length victory over Warrior’s Reward run as the Kentucky Derby under-card. Atta Boy Roy ran 7 furlongs in 1 minute, 22.54 seconds on a sloppy track and paid $22.20 to win. Lund is the trainer for owners Roy and Ellie Schaefer of Port Orchard, Washington.
Atta Boy Roy earned $167,214 to increase his bankroll to $312,999—a hefty figure considering Lund and Schaefer bought Atta Boy Roy for $4,500 as a yearling in 2007.
Atta Boy Roy was brilliant at Emerald Downs in 2009, where his achievements included a track and state record 1:07 for six furlongs in the Sept. 13 Chinook Pass Sprint. He also captured the 6 ½ furlong Governor’s Handicap in a meet-best 1:14 1/5, and was a close fifth in the Longacres Mile despite losing a shoe and setting the fastest fractions in the history of the race.
Breaking from the No. 9 post-position, Atta Boy Roy owned a clear advantage while setting splits of 22 1/5 and 44 3/5. Atta Boy Roy and Borel, who later rode his third Derby winner in five years, kicked three lengths clear into the stretch, and they then had to hold off the fast-closing Warrior’s Reward, the 7-2 second choice who rallied from far back for the place.
Musket Man, the 2-1 betting favorite, finished third, and was followed by Ventana, Accredit, Victory Notion, Kensei, Hamazing Destiny, Hull, Country Day, Munnings and Wall Street Wonder.