LOUISVILLE, KY (Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020) – Klaravich Stables’ Digital Age (IRE) collared pace-setting Factor This in deep stretch to score a three-quarter length victory to win the 34th running of the $1 million Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic (GI) for 4-year-olds and up.
Trained by Chad Brown and ridden by Javier Castellano, Digital Age covered the 1 1/8 miles on a firm Matt Winn Turf Course in 1:47.79.
Factor This led the field of 10 through fractions of :23.24, :47.17 and 1:11.16 as Digital Age raced next to last. On the far turn, Castellano began picking off horses, first along the inside, before swinging six wide at the top of the stretch and getting clear running room.
A 4-year-old Irish-bred son of Invincible Spirit out of the Lemon Drop Kid mare Willow View, Digital Age notched his second graded stakes victory with the initial score in last year’s American Turf (GII) here on Derby Day. The victory was worth $589,000 and increased Digital Age’s earnings to $1,234,660 with a record of 11-5-2-0.
Digital Age returned $19.20, $9 and $6.20. Factor This, ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan, returned $6.20 and $4.20 and finished 2 ¼ lengths in front of Rockemperor (IRE) who paid $4.60 to show under John Velazquez.
It was another 1 ¾ lengths back to Sacred Life (FR) who was followed in order by Dontblamerocket, Spectacular Gem, True Valour (IRE), Mr Dumas, Somelikeithotbrown and Bowies Hero.
OLD FORESTER BOURBON TURF CLASSIC QUOTES
Javier Castellano (winning rider, Digital Age) -- “This is such a crazy, strange business our sport. It’s a rollercoaster. I rode for (owner), Seth Klarman two really good horses today and of course we thought they both had a chance to win. But I predicted for myself ‘I can’t lose with Newspaperofrecord (in the Distaff Turf Mile)’ and we just got beat. And this horse (Digital Age) is like 8-1 and ended up winning the big race. That’s what makes this game fun, you never know what is going to happen with the horses.”
“Thank God, I got lucky. I had a beautiful, beautiful trip. I saved all the ground and cut the corner turning for home and it paid off. My horse he liked the ground, he handled it so well. I’m very satisfied with the way he did it. I felt that they went pretty quick (up front) and I took my time. I didn’t want to rush it and be close to the pace. I wanted to ride with a lot of patience and finally it paid off.”
Whit Beckman, assistant to Chad Brown (winning trainer, Digital Age) – “He had a beautiful trip. This horse loves this course. I think Chad discussed race tactics with the jockeys and they all know what they’re doing going into this spot. It’s always good to win races like this at home here on Derby Day.”
“Turning for home he had a good position, got a nice trip and this horse likes this turf course. He shipped down from New York but just watching him train here the last few days, he looked super relaxed. He looked like he was doing better than I had ever seen him do.
Shaun Bridgmohan (rider, Factor This, second) – “You can’t ask him to do much more than what he did. He put his heart out there again. Unfortunately we didn’t get the win today, but he’s a trier.”
(Thought he could hold off Digital Age) “I did. He was trying. I mean, he was giving me everything. It was nothing on his part. He waited a little bit turning for home and I kicked on with him. He was very determined today.”