Padua Stables’ homebred Rothko dominated six rivals to win Saturday night’s 24th running of the Aristides (G3) at Churchill Downs.
Rothko, ridden by Corey Nakatani and trained by Steve Asmussen, clocked six furlongs on a main track rated fast in 1:09.40. Bet down to the even-money favorite, Rothko made a bold move to the pacesetters on the far turn and drew clear late for the comfortable win, his fourth in eight starts.
“Steve (Asmussen) had him spot on and he loved what he was doing tonight,” said Nakatani. “I was just biding my time and got him in the clear. I was pretty confident turning for home and he ran a big race.”
Rothko banked $66,472 for the win – his first stakes triumph – and boosted his career bankroll to $228,552. The 4-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Arch paid $4.20, $3 and $2.60. Will’s Wildcat, who vied for the early lead then dropped back a bit and came again along the inside, returned $6 and $4.40. Whiskey Rebellion finished third and paid $4.60.
He’s a very good horse and it was great to see him perform like that,” said Asmussen. “Hopefully we’re going to run in the Iowa Sprint and then the Vanderbilt, the same two races Majesticperfection won for (owners) Padua a couple of years ago.”
–Churchill Downs Communications contributed to this report.
Rothko/Reed Palmer photo