Gulfport Wins Bashford Manor By Widest Ever To Secure Churchill Training Title Asmussen On Closing Day – Horse Racing News



Uncle Mo Colt Gulfport cruises unchallenged to victory from Bashford Manor

Placed as a 1-5 favorite, Gulfport lived up to the hype in the 121st running of the $173,000 Bashford Manor Monday at Churchill Downs.

The 2-year-old Uncle Mo stallion broke quickly from the gate and extended his lead down the track en route to a 12 ¼ abandonment job over Owen’s Leap and Andthewinneris while finishing in 1:09 on the last day of the 42 six stadiums 25-day spring meet.

The lead was the largest in the storied history of the six-mile long-distance youth sprint, surpassing Kantharos’ 9 ½ length romp in 2010. It was also the second-fastest timekeeping, behind only Kodiak Kowboy’s 1:09.15 in-game record year 2007.

Gulfport gave Hall of Fame coach Steve Asmussen his record-extending seventh win in the race and his 26th Churchill Downs practice title (25-23 wins over Brad Cox).

Alongside Gulfport, Kantharos and Kodiak Kowboy, Asmussen won Bashford Manor with Lunarpal (2004), Cinco Charlie (2014), Sir Truebadour (2018) and Cazadero (2020).

Brian Hernandez Jr. rode the winner for owners Bill and Corrine Heiligbrodt (who won the race for a fourth time), Terry Green’s Jackpot Farm and Carrol Castille’s Whispering Oaks Farm.

“We are so grateful to all of our owners for having horses like Gulfport. He was extremely talented right from the start and showed us a lot of ability,” said Asmussen.

Gulfport broke off the rail in the field of six 2-year-olds, showing an explosive turn of foot out of the gate and stopping the first quarter mile in a quick 21.65 while Simply Super chased back about a length to keep up. Leaving the curve in :45.07,

Gulfport sprinted two lengths and slid down the home straight to prove his superiority.

“I think that was very special,” Hernandez said. “He really did it all by himself. I let him snap the railing and he put me straight forward. It was very impressive. He is a really nice colt and made everything so easy today.”

Gulfport’s triumph was worth $107,070 and increased his bankroll to $176,530 with a perfect record in two starts. His debut victory came on June 10 at Churchill Downs, a five-foot specialweight which he won by seven lengths.

Gulfport was purchased by Eaton Sales for $275,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Select Yearling Sale last July and is by Unbridled’s Song mare Fame and Fortune. He was bred in Kentucky by Diamond Creek Farm.

Gulfport returned $2.40 for the win.

Simply Super, Stayhonor Goodside and Mr. Gordy completed the goal order.

“When he came off the rail today, Brian put him in the perfect position on the leash and he’s never looked back,” said Asmussen.

First operating in 1902, Bashford Manor is named for the former Louisville Thoroughbred breeding and racing farm that dominated the American racing scene in the early 20th century. George J. Long, a wealthy foundry owner, purchased Bashford Manor Farm in 1887 and developed his thoroughbred business which earned him two Derby victories as owner, 1892 (Azra) and 1906 (Sir Huon), and three as breeder, 1892 (Azra) , 1899 (Manuel) and 1906 (Sir Huon). In addition, Bashford Manor also won the Kentucky Oaks in 1894 (Selika) and 1915 (Kathleen). The original Wilder family owned Bashford Manor. The Wilders were direct descendants of Lord Baltimore, whose English home was also called Bashford Manor. Long died in 1930 and the farm was eventually sold in 1973 to make way for the development of a shopping center aptly named Bashford Manor, which officially closed in 2003.

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