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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Strong Willed Lady Wins Memorial Day Feature

LOUISVILLE, KY (Monday, May 28, 2012) - John Helmers and Woodford Racing LLC's Strong Willed Lady found room to run down the middle of the Matt Winn Turf Course and sprinted away to win the $58,996 Memorial Day feature for fillies and mares at Churchill Downs by 1 ¾ lengths over Beijoca.

Strong Willed Lady broke well and then rated in mid-pack through opening fractions of :23.84, :48.37 and 1:12.64 set by odds-on favorite Onepointhreekarats. Jockey Corey Lanerie asked Strong Willed Lady for more run with a quarter-mile remaining and angled the 5-year-old bay daughter of Leroidesanimaux-BRZ out in the stretch to give her plenty of room. Once in the clear, Strong Willed Lady put in a strong rally, took the lead at the sixteenth pole and edged away from the field.

Trained by Jeff Barkley, Strong Willed Lady covered the 1 1/8 miles on firm turf in 1:50.29.

The victory improved Strong Willed Lady's record to 4-2-0 from 16 lifetime starts and her earnings increased to $78,258 with Monday's check of $35,880.

Strong Willed Lady returned $35.20, $9.80 and $5.40. Beijoca, ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan, finished second and returned $4.20 and $3.20 with Woodford Lady, under Manny Cruz, finishing another 1 ½ lengths back in third and returning $3.20 to show.

Bridgmohan won four races on the Sunday card to regain the lead in the Churchill Downs jockey standings, 26-24, over Lanerie, who won six races Sunday. This was the fourth time that Bridgmohan won four races on a single Churchill Downs program. He won a personal-best five races beneath the Twin Spires on May 15, 2011.

Racing resumes Thursday with a nine-race program that features a five-day Pick 6 carryover of $53,530 and a one-day $8,802 Super Hi-5 carryover for the final race. Racing begins at 12:45 p.m. (all times Eastern) and the Pick 6 kicks off on Race 4 at 2:21 p.m. The Super Hi-5 in Race 9 is set for 4:59 p.m.

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