UN-BULL-IEVABLE: Flashy Bull wins Stephen Foster(G1)
Pictures. They are moments captured in a flash for posterity. We leaf through photo albums that celebrate moments like graduation, weddings, and the birth of a child. Their significance in horse racing is no different. With the pop of a flashbulb, Flashy Bull, our four-year-old son of Holy Bull, will forever be immortalized in racing's rarified air as the winner of the Grade 1 $829,500 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs.
Flashy Bull broke well from the seven hole and settled beautifully into fourth behind a contentious early pace. Flashy Bull remained in about the three path down the backstretch as he allowed the pacesetters to skirmish up front. Jockey Robby Albarado gave Flashy Bull his cue with just over three furlongs to go, and Flashy Bull launched an explosive rally on the turn to collar and overcome the leaders. Flashy Bull opened up a daylight lead of four-lengths at the eighth pole at then battled on resolutely to hold multiple graded stake winner Magna Graduate at bay. All that was left was the photo to commemorate the triumphant moment, a moment that will long be etched in our memories even after the photograph fades.
Winning trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said, "I am so happy for Terry and everyone associated with the horse. I could not have asked for the race to unfold any differently. Everyone knew there was plenty of speed especially with the rabbit in there. Robby Albarado did a beautiful job getting Flashy Bull to settle, and he got first run on the closers. We gave Flashy Bull some time off last fall, and he has come back a different horse. He always had a great mind, but now he's taken his game to a different level. He responds when you ask him, and he wants to win. A confident horse is a dangerous horse, and this horse has a ton of confidence right now. That's why we decided to take a shot in the race and it could not have turned out better."
Jockey Robby Albarado said, "I didn't want to get caught up with the speed. I wanted to stay clear of them and try to make my move on the turn. I wanted to try and open up in the stretch and make them catch me. I knew there were a lot of good horses behind me, but I was on a nice horse, too, and I wanted them to have to work to get me and they couldn't."
West Point Thoroughbreds founder and President Terry Finley said, "This is the biggest win of the stable's career. I am so gratified for the partners and everyone that supported us and helped us reach this moment. Kiaran has done a wonderful job with this colt. He called me on Wednesday morning and told me that he thought we needed to run in the race. We were pointing for the Salvator Mile next weekend at Monmouth, but he said the horse was doing better than he ever had. He said that we either run this weekend for $750,000 in a Grade 1 with a horse that can win or we run next weekend for $150,000. I could hear it in his voice, so I said let's go. It worked out pretty well."
Flashy Bull notched his fourth win in a row in the Foster and his first Grade 1 victory. With the win, Flashy Bull now has five wins, five seconds, and three thirds from eighteen career starts. He has earned $829,313.
Flashy Bull's next start will likely be in the $750,000 Whitney Handicap(G1) on July 28th at Saratoga.