Contested sets stakes record in Eight Belles win

May 4th, 2012 | By TrackSide View | Category: Articles, Race Results

CONTESTED250webRon Correll
Senior columnist

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Contested wasn’t as she ran away in the end to win the 57th running of the Eight Belles in stakes-record time of 1:21.29 on Friday at Churchill Downs. The 3-year-old daughter of Ghostzapper ran her record to three wins in four starts and all of her wins have been runaways.

Good Deed was the quickest out of the gate in the seven-furlong race and had the lead as the field came out of the chute onto the main track with Volcat and Contested in tow. After the field cross the break, Contested moved into second and kept the heat on Good Deed as they headed up the back and hit the quarter-mile in 22.1.

Contested loomed ever larger as the half went in 44.3 and she was breathing fire coming off the turn and hit the six-furlong mark with the lead in 1:08.13.

The Bob Baffert-trained filly lengthen her lead to  four-and-three-quarter lengths as she stopped the timer in 1:21.39 to break the old mark of 1:21.97 set in 2000 by Roxelana. Contested is owned by Baffert’s wife, Natalie.

Good Deed held on for second, six-and-a-quarter lengths in front of Always Here Too. Livi Makenzie was fourth.

The winner earned $66,154 for her victory and bettors received $4.20, $3 and $2.80. The exacta paid $14 and the trifecta was worth $142.60.


MARTIN GARCIA (Jockey, Contested, first) – “I knew I had a lot speed with my horse, and I was in perfect position. I was on the outside and that gave me a lot of big chances to do good things when I asked her run. That’s what she did. I asked her and she really ran away from them.”

BOB BAFFERT (Trainer, Contested, first) – “I could tell by the way Martin (Garcia) was riding that he had a lot of confidence in this filly. Being on the outside gave him a lot of options of what he could do and what he wanted to do.
“It was a nice win even though they didn’t have Jill’s colors on. They gave her the option of choosing some yellow and orange silks they had in the jock’s room and Mike Pegram’s silks. So she said, ‘Give me Mike’s silks, they’re pretty lucky.”

COREY LANERIE (Jockey, Good Deed, second) – “I thought I’d be just laying off the pace. I actually had the race to myself. She ran great, she just got beat by a better horse.”

STEVE MARGOLIS (Trainer, Good Deed, second) – “She got everything her own way. She ran a heck of a race. The other horse just had more.”

LEANDRO GONCALVES (Jockey, Always Here Too, third) – “She didn’t break well and I was farther back than I wanted to be. I tried to follow (jockey) Rosie (Napravnik)’s horse (Small Kitchen), but I didn’t have anywhere to go. She finished well. I wish we had made the break because I think she would have finished better.”

Benoit Photo/file

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