Nancy Favreau, Kathy Psoinos and Michael Tabor’s undefeated Competitive Edge romped to a 4 ½-length victory in stakes record time to win the $200,000 Pat Day Mile (GIII) Presented by LG&E and KU for 3-year-olds, the first of seven graded stakes on Kentucky Derby Day at Churchill Downs. The race was formerly known as the Derby Trial that dates to 1924.
Trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by John Velazquez, Competitive Edge covered the mile on a fast main track in 1:34.18, breaking the stakes record of 1:34.40 established in 1969 by Ack Ack. It was the second victory in the race for Pletcher, who won in 2013 with Forty Tales.
Hillbilly Royalty led the field of eight through fractions of :23.15 and :45.86 with Competitive Edge in closest pursuit. On the far turn, Velazquez sent Competitive Edge after the leader, took over at the head of the lane and drew off convincingly.
The victory was worth $112,840 and raised Competitive Edge’s earnings to $409,840 with a four-for-four record that includes a score in the Hopeful (GI) last summer.
Competitive Edge is a Kentucky-bred son of 2010 Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver out of the Cape Town mare Magdalena’s Chase.
Competitive Edge returned $4.60, $3.80 and $2.60. Pain and Misery, ridden by Julien Leparoux, returned $16 and $6.40 in finishing 1 ½ lengths in front of Gimme Da Lute, who paid $3.40 to show under Martin Garcia.
Completing the field in order were Lord Nelson, The Truth Or Else, Hillbilly Royalty, Where’s the Moon and Peace and War.
PAT DAY MILE PRESENTED BY LG&E AND KU QUOTES
JOHN VELAZQUEZ, jockey of COMPETITIVE EDGE (winner)
“That’s what we were looking for. We were looking for something fast enough to where I didn’t have to be in his mouth and he rated perfectly, so it was perfect. All went according to plan.”
TODD PLETCHER, trainer of COMPETITIVE EDGE (winner)
“I thought that was very impressive, especially for his first time going a straight mile. (Jockey) Johnny (Velazquez) said it was pretty straight forward. The scary thing is that as impressive as that was, I think there is more in the tank.”
JULIEN LEPAROUX, jockey of PAIN AND MISERY (second)
“He was nice and relaxed. I stayed out of trouble and we made a big late run. We were second best today.”
JOEL ROSARIO, jockey of THE TRUTH OR ELSE (fifth)
“We tried. We are always trying to win these races, but you can’t always do it.”