Lanerie collects fifth win of card aboard Limousine Liberal in Aristides


LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The purse – and the crowd – were a bit smaller than when Limousine Liberal ran four weeks beforehand on Kentucky Derby Day, but the results were the same.

Giving jockey Corey Lanerie his fifth winner of an 11-race Churchill Downs card, Limousine Liberal glided away to a 2 1/2-length triumph as a heavy favorite Saturday in the 29th running of the Grade 3, $100,000 Aristides, validating his Derby Day score in the Grade 2 Churchill Downs.

“He’s such a cool horse,” said Katherine G. “K.K.” Ball, who co-bred and owns the 5-year-old Limousine Liberal in partnership with her husband, Mike Ball.

Away cleanly from the outside post in a field of six older horses, Limousine Liberal tracked the pace set by Union Jackson while always in the clear. When Lanerie asked, Limousine Liberal wasn’t long to assert his superiority, giving the gelding his fifth win in 15 career starts and avenging a narrow miss in the 2016 Aristides. He returned $3.20 after finishing the six-furlong distance in 1:09.12 over a fast track.

Wilbo was second, a neck before late-running The Truth Or Else, while Union Jackson faded to fourth. Schivarelli and Abbaa completed the order. Wabel and Recount were early scratches.

Limousine Liberal posted his career-best win in taking the $500,000 Churchill Downs at 13-1. Trainer Ben Colebrook said after the Aristides the son of Successful Appeal will again face stiffer competition when traveling to New York for the July 8 Belmont Sprint Championship and the July 31 Vanderbilt at Saratoga.

Mike Ball’s parents, Don and Mira, are Lexington homebuilders with a rich heritage in racing as owners of Donamire Farm. Although Limousine Liberal races in their daughter-in-law’s name, theirs is essentially a family operation that campaigned such long-ago standouts as Going Straight (11th in the 1971 Kentucky Derby), Straight Flow, Summer Advocate, Recusant, and Twilight Road. In fact, Limousine Liberal competes under the black-and-white Donamire silks. K.K. Ball, a former trainer, maintains an almost daily presence in the Colebrook barn at Keeneland.

Limousine Liberal earned $61,380 to bring his bankroll to $832,500, making him the all-time leading earner for the family, surpassing Twilight Road ($792,767).

The $2 exacta (8-4) paid $12.20, the $1 trifecta (8-4-6) returned $21.10, and the 10-cent superfecta (8-4-6-3) was worth $5.15.

Lanerie, who is well on his way to yet another leading-rider title at Churchill, won four earlier races before finishing third on the 1-2 favorite, Miss Vicki, in the race-11 finale.

Forgive narrowly prevails in Mighty Beau

Forgive ($18.60) held grimly after making all the pace along the inner turf rail in posting a head victory over late-charging Partly Mocha in the $55,040 Mighty Beau at five furlongs.

Forgive is a 4-year-old New York-bred trained by Mike Tomlinson for Patricias Hope LLC. Another Tomlinson trainee, Platinum Prince, was just another head back in third in a field of eight older horses.

Ridden by Joe Rocco Jr., Forgive finished in 56.31 seconds over a firm course.

Latent Revenge, the 2016 Mighty Beau winner and the 2-1 favorite, lost virtually all chance with a poor break and finished last.