Flagstaff bested Lexitonian by a head in a wild finish in Saturday's $500,000 Churchill Downs S. (G1) , giving Speightstown's offspring a 1-2 finish in the seven-furlong race.
Visit Speightstown's Page
The 7-year-old, who previously won the San Carlos S. (G2) and Commonwealth S. (G3), is Speightstown's 21st lifetime Grade 1 winner, among the top five active sires in North America.
Flagstaff broke very well and was part of a quartet of horses battling for the lead through a quick quarter-mile of :21.97. Jockey Luis Saez took Flagstaff back slightly off the hot pace, then began to move from inside to outside around the turn.
Flagstaff was five-wide coming into the stretch, and with a furlong to run there were seven horses within a length of the lead. Whitmore took over briefly in the final sixteenth, but Flagstaff made one last surge to win by a head over Lexitonian, who also made a gallant late run for the place spot.
The final time was 1:21.82 on a fast track.
“Getting settled off the pace was the key; they were going pretty fast up front,” said winning rider Luis Saez. “I tried to save ground into the turn and when there was a moment to go out so I had that good spot he came for me. I know Whitmore is a good horse but my horse really dug in. When I saw everybody coming past me I thought it was over but he never gave up and finally he gave me the last little bit and we got there.”
The victory was worth $288,300 and increased Flagstaff’s earnings to $991,585 with a record of 19-7-6-3. He is owned by Lane's End Racing and Hronis Racing LLC.
Flagstaff was bred in Kentucky by Summer Wind Farm and is a half-brother to Game Winner, the 2018 Champion 2-year-old Colt.