Closing day at Kentucky Downs proved a profitable one for Phoenix Thoroughbreds, and their investors, as Confessing stormed to a maiden victory shortly after Craft Woods had made a promising debut.
After running some excellent efforts in defeat, Confessing was well backed as she headed to the mile start for race seven, under double seeking rider Julien Leparoux. What followed was a display in confidence riding and an electric turn of foot which saw the Steve Asmussen trainee break her maiden’s tag.
Breaking well from gate two and settling just in behind the early leaders Confessing seemed perfectly placed as the field made their way through the early stages of the race. Perhaps sensing the pacesetters were going a little quick Laparoux was comfortable for his mount to drop back into fifth as the pack headed down the slope and into the turn. At the top of the stretch, the eventual winning pair were forced a little wide, but it didn’t check their momentum as the daughter of Scat Daddy began to hit top gear. Under urgings from the man in the saddle, the filly was soon flying up the hill and passed the rest of the field as if they were stationary. Leparoux even had time to give the three-year-old a congratulatory pat down the neck as the victorious duo crossed the line five lengths in front of the next horse home.
Just under an hour earlier Declaration Of War filly Craft Woods had shown plenty of talent on her debut to finish runner-up for the Dubai based investment fund. Ridden by Javier Castellano, it was a run that almost mirrored that of Confessing’s, albeit over six and a half furlongs and with a slightly different outcome. Swinging very wide off the final turn having sat in fourth throughout the race, Craft Woods made smooth progress through the field but was a little unlucky to bump into the fast-finishing Enola Gay, who beat Mike Maker’s charge home by one and a half lengths. Despite the defeat, the run can be marked down as a very promising opening effort.