first_imgInveniam Viam Rallied Through The Stretch To Take $50,000 Ellis Park Turf Race A $20,000 claim in New Orleans this winter, Ellis Park Turf Stakes winnernow is 4 for 4 for 2016 leading owner Chester Thomas, trainer Brad Cox HENDERSON, Ky. (Saturday, July 8, 2017) — Chester Thomas, last year’s winningest owner at Ellis Park, won his first race of the young season at his hometown track in fine fashion as Inveniam Viam rallied through the stretch to take the $50,000 Ellis Park Turf by a half-length over front-running Corby.The 5-year-old Inveniam Viam now has won all four races since being claimed for $20,000 out of a race for Louisiana-born horses Jan. 20 at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans. The mare captured allowances races against open company at the Fair Grounds and Churchill Downs before earning her first stakes victory. She’s now 9-5-3 in 24 starts, earning $247,959 with the $30,070 purse.Thomas, who is from nearby Madisonville, Ky., had a third with the first five starters this meet for his Allied Racing Stable.“Are you kidding me? It’s awesome,” he said. “First stakes of the meet, and to win this race here, it’s our second stakes as an owner. So it’s really good. Hopefully we have better things coming.” He said Inveniam Viam is “by far” the best horse he ever plucked out of a claiming race.“Got to give credit to Brad Cox,” he said. “He picked the horse out; he’s trained the horse. Really improved the horse. Brad is having a great year. Yeah, how do you do any better than this? Yeah, nice claim. Kudos to Brad Cox.“We’re excited to be here,” he said of Ellis Park, adding of track owner and president Ron Geary, “I was telling Ron last weekend, we’re running all of our horses here, as we did last year. It’s good to get the monkey off. We hadn’t won one yet – and this was the right one to win. Manny did a great job riding. Had my heart pumping a little bit, but he got her home when it counted.”By the way, Inveniam Viam is Latin for “I’ll find a way or make one.”Inveniam Viam settled into sixth in the field of eight fillies and mares, fanning eight wide into the stretch before swooping up to reel in Corby on the final strides. The daughter of the Louisiana stallion Half Ours covered 1 1/16 miles on firm turf in 1:41.35, paying $7.20 to win. Corby and jockey Jon Court held off the Jose Lopez-ridden La Piba by three-quarters of a length, with co-favored Burma Road a neck back in fourth while edging Rattataptap and Crook Stick as only 2 1/4 lengths separated the winner from the sixth-place finisher.“Everything set up,” Court said. “We looked like the speed of the race, unless somebody went crazy. I knew Manny Cruz was well-mounted.”Cruz is back riding in Kentucky and the Midwest for the first time in five years. He was riding first-call at Churchill Downs for trainer Kenny McPeek, but returned to Florida to be home for his young sons. Recovering from injuries incurred in a spill at Tampa Bay Downs, he thought Indiana Grand would be a good place to get his career rekindled, with easy access to Kentucky.“I had two young boys who needed me, but now they’re raised,” Cruz said. “They said, ‘Daddy, you can get outta here again. Go to Kentucky.’“… Brad Cox rode me in Indiana and we did well. And now my opportunities are starting to pick up a little more with him. I’m getting back. The race today, it helped me that the horses I had to follow ran a little bit close. I’m riding a good horse, who gave me all the choice to handle the position I wanted. When I wanted a little bit more, she gave it to me, and a little bit more at the quarter pole. She responded in the last eighth like a mature horse and helped me to get this job done.”Gabriel Saez had a big day, winning three races: the second with Restless Ramble ($2.40), fourth with Frozen Hannah ($10.20) and ninth on More Than Kisses ($8.00).center_img FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img

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