Blind Luck Wins At Churchill Downs; All GGF Gates Open Early Saturday

Blind Luck Wins At Churchill Downs; All GGF Gates Open Early Saturday

     Blind Luck, the champion 3-year-old filly of 2010, earned her first victory of 2011 Friday at Churchill Downs when she overcame a terrible start to win the Grade 2 $300,000 La Troienne Stakes by a half-length over Unrivaled Belle.

     Trained by Northern California’s Jerry Hollendorfer, Blind Luck nearly touched the ground with her nose after stumbling at the start of the 1 1/16-mile race for fillies and mares.  Blind Luck recovered quickly, settled into a nice stride and then rallied from last in a field of eight to claim her eighth career stakes victory.

     Blind Luck, ridden by Garrett Gomez, was timed in 1:42.93 and paid $4.80 as the
7-to-5 favorite.  Owned in partnership by Hollendorfer, Peter Abruzzo, John Carver and Mark DeDomenico, Blind Luck earned $200,808.

     “I was a little disturbed when the horses broke,” said Hollendorfer, admitting that he uttered a few choice words after watching the start.  “We got lucky that she got right back up and didn’t hurt herself.”

     Blind Luck had finished second in her first three starts of 2011 but Hollendorfer said his faith in the filly never wavered.

     “It was the feeling of myself, my partners and the barn was that it was circumstances that were getting her beaten,” said Hollendorfer.  “We never lost an ounce of confidence in her.  One of the reasons for that is she never really changed her attitude and she never got down.  She gained weight and looks better.  People that know her back here (at Churchill) commented on that all week long.  Hopefully we can go on and have a big year with her again.”

     Blind Luck, who earned $1,679,662 in 2010, has made $290,808 in her four races this year.  Overall, the 4-year-old filly has 10 wins, seven seconds and two thirds in 19 career starts and $2,679,520 in earnings.

     All gates at Golden Gate Fields open at 7:15 a.m. Saturday for the simulcast of the entire Kentucky Derby Day card from Churchill Downs, where post time is 7:30 a.m. Pacific Time.  Golden Gate Fields will present a 10-race program of its own and post time for the first local contest is 11:45 a.m.

     Kentucky Derby Day will be a festive day at Golden Gate Fields with mint juleps, the third annual "Run For The Roses Hat Contest" ($1,800 in cash prizes), and live music between races by Pop Fiction.  Two free shuttle buses will operate from the North Berkeley BART station to Golden Gate Fields throughout the day.