Nothing Better emerges victorious in eighth running of the Might Beau Stakes at Churchill Downs

Pick Pony |June 8, 2024, 1:20 p.m.

Colts Neck Stables LLC's 7-year-old gelding, Nothing Better, emerged victorious in the eighth running of the $224,875 Mighty Beau Stakes (Listed) at Churchill Downs on Saturday. Trained by Jorge Duarte Jr., Nothing Better was ridden by Gerardo Corrales.

Initially chasing pacesetter Yes I Am Free, Nothing Better took the lead with a furlong to run and held off a late challenge by Mischievous Rouge, winning by half a length. The horse ran five furlongs on firm turf in :56.64, securing his fourth career stakes win.

"We thought about running in the Jaipur (GI) but the forecast at Saratoga called for rain and we knew he wanted a firm turf course," said Richard Santulli, owner of Colts Neck Stables. "We made the right decision running here. We'll keep him turf sprinting this summer and if we can get to the Breeders’ Cup, that would be great."

As the 3-1 second betting choice, Nothing Better paid $8.42, $5.24, and $3.52. Mischievous Rouge, who rallied from last under Luan Machado at odds of 5-1, returned $6.28 and $3.90. Mo Stash, the 2-1 favorite, was three-quarters of a length back in third under Rafael Bejarano and paid $3.24 to show.

The order of finish was completed by Charcoal, Bad Beat Brian, Edge to Edge, Ryvit, Yes I Am Free, and Panther Island. Clear the Air and Kaufymaker were scratched.

After chasing early fractions of :21.65 and :44.59, Nothing Better earned $134,040 for the win, improving his career record to 10-5-3 in 27 starts with earnings of $701,382.

"He broke very well and just took me right to the lead," Corrales said. "He fought hard to hold everyone off."

Nothing Better, a son of Munnings out of the Duke of Marmalade (IRE) mare One True Love (IRE), was bred in Kentucky by Don Alberto Corporation.

The Mighty Beau is named in honor of the graded stakes winner, Mighty Beau. Mighty Beau had a remarkable record of 75-12-19-10—$646,000 from 2001-08. This Oklahoma-bred gelding, a son of Rainbow Prospect, made a record five starts in the Twin Spires Turf Sprint (previously known as the Aegon Turf Sprint) from 2002-06, winning the race in 2005 at age 6. Owners Mike Cloonan and Anthony Carolan, trainer Jeff Mullins and jockey Pat Valenzuela were part of this victory.

Racing at Churchill Downs continues Sunday with a nine-race program starting at 12:45 p.m. (Eastern Time). The program includes two stakes events: the $175,000 Leslie’s Lady Overnight Stakes (Race 4 at 2:13 p.m.) and the Grade III, $400,000 Matt Winn (Race 8 at 4:22 p.m.).

Sunday is also Family Adventure Day, offering over 15 kid-friendly activities for children under 12. These include face painting, sports inflatables, an obstacle course, a game zone with cornhole, giant Jenga, checkers and tic-tac-toe, arts and crafts stations, and Charlie’s Corner, featuring soft play and a toddler bounce area. Children can also register to participate in stick horse races in the Churchill Downs Paddock from 11:30 a.m.-2:15 p.m.

General admission is $9 for adults, and up to two children can enter free with each paying adult. Gates open at 11:30 a.m. and the first post is at 12:45 p.m. Family Adventure Day activities will be located inside the Paddock Gate.