Last Judgment turned in a near track-record performance in Saturday's $100,000 Challenger S. (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs, winning the 1 1/16-mile contest by 2 1/4-lengths to give the 5-year-old son of Congrats his first graded stakes victory.
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Last Judgment won the Sunshine Classic at Gulfstream Park in his 2021 debut before facing the best horses in training in the Pacific World Cup Inv. (G1).
Getting some class relief in the Challenger, Last Judgment went to the front right out of the gate and settled into a nice rhythm as he carved out a half-mile in :47.41. Jockey Daniel Centeno was well in hand as Last Judgment came into the stretch ahead by two lengths and was never seriously threatened as he finished the distance in 1:41.98, just .23 seconds off the track record.
“We tried to chase Knicks Go in the Pegasus, and I’ll try to spot him more appropriately the rest of the year,” trainer Mike Maker said after Saturday's win, with a nod toward the rest of the year's plans.
“The instructions were to take the lead, and he broke really sharp and made an easy lead all the way to the wire,” said Centeno. “The gray horse (Letmeno, who finished fourth) got a little close to me past the half-mile pole, but my horse grabbed the bit again and I knew I had plenty of horse left.”
Last Judgment has won seven of 16 starts and earned $333,365 for owners Michael Dubb, Steve Hornstock, Bethlehem Stables and Nice Guys Stables. He was bred in Florida by Woodford Thoroughbreds.
Congrats, annual one of the nation's leading sires of winners, has accounted for 42 this year, second only to Into Mischief. Congrats is standing this year at WinStar for $7,500 S&N.