Fight On (far right) digs in to win the 2017 $200,000 Spendthrift Juvenile S. at Churchill Downs - Coady photo
The top five finishers of Sunday's $200,000 Spendthrift Juvenile Stallion S. were separated by less than a length, with the Spendthrift-owned Fight On, a son of Into Mischief, holding on by a neck to get his first career win in his fourth lifetime start (VIDEO
Restricted to 2-year-olds by current or previous Spendthrift stallions, the seven-furlong contest drew a field of eight, with Fight On in the outside post. The dark bay came out of the gate quickly, and was just behind Ezmosh, who took up the front spot.
That pair stayed one-two until the top of the stretch, when Fight On moved to the lead. Ezmosh began to fade with a furlong to run, but a host of challengers came on the scene in deep stretch, but Fight On lived up to his name, defeating Malibu Moon's Captivating Moon by a head in 1:24.87 on the fast track.
“We got a perfect trip today and when the horses got to him in deep stretch he fought hard to get the win,” winning rider Rafael Santana, Jr. said.
Designed to benefit both racehorse owners and breeders, the $200,000 purse was structured with a unique approach to award $100,000 to the breeders of the top four placed horses, with the remaining $100,000 allocated to the owners.
“The concept for these races incentivizes the breeders and people who buy our horses, and we are very happy to be able to win this,” Spendthrift owner B. Wayne Hughes said.
Fight On's breeder Haymarket Farm was the beneficiary of the winner's share of the purse. The colt's dam Havenlass has four winners from as many starters and is a sister to graded stakes winner Belterra and Royal Haven.