LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Saturday, May 5, 2018) – Patricia Moseley’s homebred Proctor’s Ledge collared On Leave at the sixteenth pole and pulled away to a half-length victory in the 33rd running of the $300,000 Longines Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (Grade II) for fillies and mares.
Trained by Brendan Walsh and ridden by John Velazquez, Proctor’s Ledge covered the mile on the firm Matt Winn Turf Course in 1:36.30. It is the third win in the race for Velazquez, who won in 2012 with Hungry Island and in 1999 with Shires Ende.
Longshot Pyscho Sister set the pace with On Leave tracking in second through fractions of :23.85, :48.36 and 1:12.87. At the head of the lane, On Leave kicked clear only to be overtaken late by the winner.
The victory was worth $174,840 to the 4-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Ghostzapper out of the Arch mare Archstone. Proctor’s Ledge boosted her earnings to $579,090 with a record of 12-5-2-1. The victory was the third graded-stakes triumph for Proctor’s Ledge.
Proctor’s Ledge returned $15.60, $8 and $5. On Leave, ridden by Jose Ortiz, returned $5.60 and $3.60 with Dream Awhile, ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., finished another length back in third and returned $3.60 to show.
It was another half-length back to Dream Dancing who was followed in order by Madame Stripes (ARG), La Coronel, Thundering Sky, Madam Dancealot (IRE), Res Ipsa, Pyscho Sister and Insta Erma.
LONGINES CHURCHILL DISTAFF TURF MILE QUOTES
John Velazquez (rider of Proctor’s Ledge, winner) – “I had a perfect trip. We broke pretty well and got into the position I wanted to be in. I didn’t want to be too far back. She settled well and after that, I bided my time to get a nice run down the lane. When the time came, I pulled her out she responded right away.”
Brendan Walsh (trainer of Proctor’s Ledge, winner) – “I walked the turf course this morning before training and after, and then the rain started. I was a little concerned because she has generally done her best running on fast ground, but we really didn’t have any concrete proof that she wouldn’t mind a little cut in the ground. It’s still very good out there, but they are kicking the top off. I didn’t want her to have another bad race. I talked to Mrs. (Patricia) Moseley a couple of hours ago and we decided we’d give it a shot. Johnny (Velazquez) gave her a super, super ride. She showed the filly she is today. She’s a good filly.
“She was going super coming into today. I galloped her a few times and from a condition point of view she was doing really well.”
“There’s a mile race on Belmont Day; there’s a mile and a quarter race on Belmont Day. The Diana at Saratoga you would think would be her main target seeing that she has such an affinity for Saratoga. We’ll be careful with her because I think she’ll get better and better as she goes along. I think her best races are still in front of her.
Irad Ortiz Jr. (rider of Dream Awhile, third-place finisher) – “She got into a little trouble and had to wait too long to get out of there. There was kickback and she didn't like that, but she ran a good race to finish third.