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Elkhorn winner Say The Word heads to Churchill Downs

April 18, 2021

Agave Racing Stable and Sam-Son Farm’s Canadian champion Say the Word, winner of Saturday’s Elkhorn (G2) by 1½ lengths, was scheduled to head to Churchill Downs Sunday morning and join the rest of trainer Phil D’Amato’s Kentucky string.

The victory in the 1½-mile Elkhorn was the second graded stakes triumph at the distance for Say the Word. The other came last year in the Northern Dancer Turf (G1) Presented by Pattison at Woodbine.

The Churchill stakes schedule has the $125,000 Louisville (G3) going 1½ miles on the turf slated for May 15, a race that could attract Elkhorn runner-up Channel Cat and fourth-place finisher Fantasioso (ARG).

“He showed signs that he was going to run a good one,” trainer Jack Sisterson said of Calumet Farm’s Channel Cat, whose effort Saturday produced his best result since winning the Bowling Green (G2) in 2019 while racing for Todd Pletcher. “He had not trained that well coming into a race since we have had him.”

Sisterson mentioned after the race that the $750,000 Manhattan (G1) at 1¼ miles on June 5 might be a possibility but noted Sunday morning, “if we take the conservative route, we may do that (the Louisville).”

Bloom Racing Stable and I. C. Racing’s Fantasioso rallied from last in the field of eight, finishing less than a length out of second place in his U.S. debut.

“He came out of the race well, and I was very happy with his race,” trainer Ignacio Correas IV said. “The plan is to go on to the Louisville.”