Chris Wilkins’ Wilbo edged Petrov by a neck to win the $125,000 Aristides Stakes on Saturday night at Churchill Downs, becoming the sixth Oaklawn-raced horse this decade to win the 6-furlong event.
Wilbo, under the care of 2015 Oaklawn training champion Chris Hartman, led a 1-2-3 finish for Oaklawn-raced horses as Zipp On By finished a head farther back in third.
Wilbo has been one of Oaklawn’s top sprinters the last several years, winning an allowance race in Hot Springs in 2016, an allowance race and the $125,000 King Cotton Stakes in 2018 and finishing second in the $400,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3) last year.
Wilbo also ran second in the 2017 Aristides and third last year.
Ridden Saturday by Corey Lanerie, Wilbo ($11) ran 6 furlongs over a fast track in 1:09.27.
A 7-year-old gelded son of Candy Ride, Wilbo won for the 11th time in 34 lifetime starts to raise his earnings to $745,980.
Five other Oaklawn-raced horses have won the Aristides this decade – Riley Tucker (2010), Noble’s Promise (2011), Scatman (2013), Alsvid (2015 and 2016) and Chief Cicatriz (2018).
Alsvid, a millionaire, was trained by Hartman.
Exulting, winner of the inaugural $250,000 Oaklawn Mile on May 3, will make his next start in the $600,000 Stephen Foster Handicap (G2) June 15 at Churchill Downs, owner Michael Hui said Friday.
The 1 1/8-mile Stephen Foster is a “Win & You’re In” event for the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) Nov. 2 at Santa Anita.
Hui said Exulting was originally being pointed for the $300,000 Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap (G3) July 5 at Prairie Meadows, but is being re-routed to the Stephen Foster after an allowance race last Friday at Churchill Downs didn’t have a sufficient amount of entries to be run.
“Plan 1A is the Stephen Foster,” Hui said. “That is the plan. We’re just going to take our shot in mid-June in the Stephen Foster.”
Hui said Exulting came out of his one-length Oaklawn Mile victory in “fantastic” shape.
The Tapit gelding has subsequently recorded two works at Churchill Downs’ Trackside Training Center, including a 5-furlong move in 1:00.40 Saturday.
At least two other Oaklawn-raced horses are scheduled to run in the Stephen Foster – Quip, winner of the $750,000 Oaklawn Handicap (G2) April 13 and Alkhaatam, a dazzling March 29 maiden winner.
The Stephen Foster closed Saturday with 31 nominations.