The inaugural running of the Pat Day Mile, formerly the Derby Trial, wasn't very competitive at the finish line as Competitive Edge easily won by 4 1/2 lengths.
The undefeated colt romped in a stakes record time of 1:34.18. The former record was 1:34.40 set by Ack Ack in 1969. The Derby Trial dates back to 1924.
It was the second victory in the race for Todd Pletcher, who won in 2013 with Forty Tales. John Velazquez was aboard for owners Nancy Favreau, Kathy Psoinos and Michael Tabor.
Hillbilly Royalty led the field of eight through fractions of 23.15 and 45.86 with Competitive Edge in closest pursuit. On the far turn, Velazquez sent Competitive Edge after the leader, took over at the head of the lane and drew off convincingly.
The victory was worth $112,840 and raised Competitive Edge’s earnings to $409,840 with a four-for-four record that includes a score in the Hopeful Stakes last summer.
Competitive Edge is a Kentucky-bred son of 2010 Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver out of the Cape Town mare Magdalena’s Chase.
Competitive Edge returned $4.60, $3.80 and $2.60. Pain and Misery, ridden by Julien Leparoux, finished second and returned $16 and $6.40. Another 1 1/2 length in third was Gimme Da Lute, who paid $3.40 to show under Martin Garcia.
Completing the order of finish were Lord Nelson, The Truth Or Else, Hillbilly Royalty, Where’s the Moon and Peace and War.
JOHN VELAZQUEZ, jockey of COMPETITIVE EDGE (winner): “That’s what we were looking for. We were looking for something fast enough to where I didn’t have to be in his mouth and he rated perfectly, so it was perfect. All went according to plan.”
TODD PLETCHER, trainer of COMPETITIVE EDGE (winner): “I thought that was very impressive, especially for his first time going a straight mile. Johnny said it was pretty straightforward. The scary thing is that as impressive as that was, I think there is more in the tank.”
JULIEN LEPAROUX, jockey of PAIN AND MISERY (second): “He was nice and relaxed. I stayed out of trouble and we made a big late run. We were second best today.”
JOEL ROSARIO, jockey of THE TRUTH OR ELSE (fifth): “We tried. We are always trying to win these races, but you can’t always do it.”
Edited Churchill Downs release with additional content by Dick Downey