09/10/2016 7:54PM

Allied Air Raid one of Cox's two stakes winners on Super Derby undercard

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Lou Hodges
Allied Air Raid wins his turf debut under Joe Bravo in the Unbridled.

BOSSIER CITY, La.- Allied Air Raid capped a memorable afternoon of racing at Louisiana Downs for trainer Brad Cox on Saturday, when he stormed to a four-length win in the $75,000 Unbridled. It was Cox’s second stakes victory on the card following Royal By Nature’s win in  the $75,000 Sunday Silence.

The races were among four stakes supporting the featured Grade 3, $400,000 Super Derby won by Texas Chrome.

Cox had a total of seven horses running around the country Saturday, and overall won three races and had two seconds. His biggest victories came at Louisiana Downs.

“It was a good day,” he said. 

Allied Air Raid ($6.80) was making his turf debut in the Unbridled, and he settled off the pace as Berniestrike was pressed through fractions of 23.75 seconds for the opening quarter-mile, 46.90 for the half-mile, and 1:10.87. Allied Air Raid forged to the lead into the stretch and powered home to cover 1 1/16 miles on firm ground in a swift 1:40.54.

“It was very impressive,” said Cox.

Joe Bravo was aboard for Ten Strike Racing. Bravo also captured the $75,000 Happy Ticket with the Joe Sharp-trained Majestic Gale.

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Cox long had expressed an interest in running Allied Air Raid on turf, and even entered him in a grass race last fall, but the horse was excluded. He has since placed in a handful of main-track stakes races, between tracks such as Monmouth and Mountaineer.

“We wanted to try him on the turf last fall,” Cox said. “He came back doing well on the dirt so we just stuck with the dirt. But we kind of felt something was missing with him. He worked so well, and while he was running well, we felt there was a little more there. The grass unveiled it.”

Cox said he will not rule out running Allied Air Raid back on  dirt, but his next start will likely be on turf. He said no decisions have been made on the next start with Allied Air Raid.

Allied Air Raid earned $45,000 for owners Ten Strike Racing. He is a son of Midshipman and was bred in Kentucky.

Royal By Nature ($6.80) is now undefeated in two starts after he darted to a 1 1/4-length win over favorite Hembree in the Sunday Silence for 2-year-olds. Jose Valdivia Jr. was aboard.

Royal By Nature stalked the pace and went on to cover the mile on turf in 1:37.39.

“I was very pleased with his effort,” said Cox. “He did it impressively. We were wanting to kind of see him take that next step and he did with the win today.”

Cox said Royal By Nature will now come under consideration for the Grade 3, $250,000 Bourbon on Oct. 9 at Keeneland. The trainer won the Sunday Silence for the second year in a row, taking  last year’s running with Uncle Brennie.

Royal by Nature races for his breeder, Sheik Abdullah Saeed Almaddah. He is a son of Myboyhcharlie and was bred in Ireland.

A rain storm hit just after the Sunday Silence, but cleared in time for the running of the next race on the card, the $75,000 River Cities. Artistic License ($8.20) won her sixth straight race in the filly and mare stakes, when she stalked and rolled to 1 1/2-length win over Kinky Vow.

Artistic License was ridden by C.J. McMahon, who also won the Super Derby with Texas Chrome. Artistic License covered 1 1/16 miles on firm turf in 1:42.33. Bret Calhoun trains Artistic License for Carl Moore. She is a 5-year-old by Heart of the Storm.

In the Happy Ticket for 2-year-old fillies, Majestic Gale ($6.20) overtook pacesetter Senora Acero in the stretch and went on to a 4 1/2-length win. Majestic Gale covered the mile on turf  in 1:36.58. Sharp trains the winner for Allan Peterson. Majestic Gale is a daughter of Majestic Warrior.

A 50-cent pick four linking the Sunday Silence, River Cities, Unbridled, and Super Derby returned $170.50. The pool that was guaranteed at $100,000 reached $120,503.