Triumphant return for Owendale in Churchill’s Blame S.

May 23, 2020

Owendale made his 2020 debut a winning one on a rainy Saturday afternoon at Churchill Downs, rallying from well off the pace to take the inaugural running of the $100,000 Blame S.

The 4-year-old Into Mischief colt, winning of a trio of graded stakes in 2019, had been given the winter off following his game second-place finish in the Clark H. (G1) in November. Breaking from post 7 in the one-mile Blame, Owendale was last of 12 after the first quarter-mile and had just two horses beat after a half-mile that went in :45.63.

With no choice but to go around horses, Florent Geroux took Owendale seven-wide into the stretch. He picked off horses one by one, striking the front just a few strides from the finish to beat Everfast by a half-length in 1:34.74.

“He ran very impressively today,” Geroux said. “This isn’t his best distance and not the end goal but it was very exciting to see him return to the races off of a layoff like that.”

“It was great to see him return like that going a one-turn mile,” added trainer Brad Cox. “This definitely puts him in a position to try more graded stakes later on in the year at a better distance going two turns. We’ll look like races like the Stephen Foster for his next start but he will like the two-turns better.”

The victory was worth $57,660 for owner Jim Rupp and increased Owendale’s bankroll to $1,129,185 with a record of 6-2-2 in 15 starts. Owendale was bred in Kentucky by Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings LLC and sold for $200,000 at the 2017 Keeneland September Yearling sale.

Owendale is the 14th stakes winner this year for Into Mischief, far outpacing all other North American sires. Among his stakes winners are 3-year-old colts Authentic and Mischevious Alex, both currently on the Triple Crown trail.