07/10/2005 12:00AM

Deputy G takes Bashford Manor


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Two rounds of boisterous cheers went up after the $176,250 Bashford Manor Stakes was run as the closing-day feature Sunday at Churchill Downs.

The first came when Deputy G, ridden by Gary Stevens, crossed the wire first in the 104th running of the Grade 3, six-furlong race for 2-year-olds. The second came when the colt was cleared of any wrongdoing in a subsequent inquiry by the stewards.

The raucous cheers came from the 20-member Spade Stable, a Louisville-area syndicate that owns Deputy G, a Matty G colt trained by David Pate. As the favorite in a field of 10, Deputy G returned $5.20 to win after gamely holding off R Loyal Man for a half-length victory.

Honor Due finished third, another two lengths back, while fourth-place finisher Brilliant Son was disqualified and placed seventh. Brilliant Son (post 2) and Deputy G (post 4) both took wayward steps soon after the start, with the inquiry ultimately finding Brilliant Son guilty of interfering with Cockney Can Man. Soon after the race, Cockney Can Man was sent to an equine clinic with gashes in two legs, said trainer Steve Margolis.

Deputy G was always part of a hectic scramble for the lead. Late in the turn, he seized a short lead from Preside and Federer, then was kept to pressure to hold off R Loyal Man, a Florida invader who overcame a sluggish start to finish very creditably.

The win capped a productive meet for Stevens, who was riding at Churchill for the first time in his Hall of Fame career. "This is what makes Kentucky fun," he said. "The enthusiasm, not just in the grandstand, but to see a group of owners as excited as this."

Deputy G, a sharp winner of his only previous start in May, finished in 1:11.38 over a fast track. The colt was the subject of multiple sales offers after his victory, so the Bashford Manor only assures that the asking price has been raised considerably.

Deputy G was part of a $2 pick six that returned $9,725.60.

The 10-race Sunday card closed out the 52-day spring meet.