Monday, June 18, 2012

Mandurah Goes Gate to Wire in Feature; McGee Gets 300th Churchill Downs Win

LOUISVILLE, KY (Sunday, June 17, 2012) – Kip Colvin’s Mandurah went all the way on the lead in the $60,342 feature on the Matt Winn Turf Course and earlier on the card Paul McGee became just the 14th trainer in Churchill Downs history to reach the 300-win milestone at the historic Louisville track when Jay Em Ess Stable’s Storm Cloud Coming crossed the line first in Sunday’s fifth race.

Ten of McGee’s 300 Churchill Downs wins came in stakes events, including the 1988 Clark Handicap (GIII) with Balthazar B. and the 2003 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (GI) with Honor in War. Overall, the 49-year-old Louisville native has saddled 925 winners. His first career win came at Churchill Downs nearly 25 years ago on June 23, 1987.

“It’s very flattering,” McGee said. “It’s special (that the win came for Samantha Siegel’s Jay Em Ess Stable). They’ve been big supporters of mine. I don’t know how many of the 300 were for Samantha, but I know it’s a lot of them.”

In the featured eighth race, Mandurah took an early lead under Brian Hernandez Jr. and held a length advantage when the field of nine crossed the wire the first time. An 8-year-old gelded son of A.P. Indy, Mandurah set fractions of :23.99, :47.62 and 1:11.82. He opened up a two-length lead entering the home stretch and dug in gamely to hold off a late rally from Versailles Road to finish a neck in front.

Mandurah covered the 1 1/8 miles on the “good” Matt Winn Turf Course and returned $21.40, $11 and $7.80. Versailles Road, ridden by Leandro Goncalves, finished second and returned $4.40 and $3.60 with Pleasant Run, under the Spring Meet’s leading rider Corey Lanerie, finishing another three-quarters of a length back in third and returning $5.20 to show.

Trained by Grant Forster, Mandurah picked up $37,500 for the win and increased his bankroll to $164,357. His career record now stands at 7-2-0 from 25 starts.

Racing resumes Thursday with a nine-race program that begins at 12:45 p.m. (ET).

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