09/03/2012 6:25PM

Ellis Park: Final Count take off-the-turf Cliff Guilliams


Final Count went first-to-last Monday to register a 4 1/4-length triumph in the $50,000 Cliff Guilliams Memorial, the closing-day feature of the 29-day Ellis Park meet in Henderson, Ky.

With jockey Corey Lanerie biding his time early, Final Count finished with a flourish, returning $7.20 as third choice in a field reduced to just six starters after the race was moved from the main track to the turf, with the distance revised from 1 1/16 miles to a mile. The winning time was 1:37.46 over a muddy track.

Big Town, the 9-5 favorite, ran on late to be second, a neck before Forty Nine Watts, the 2-1 second choice.

Final Count, a 6-year-old horse by Smart Strike, won for the fifth time in 18 career starts. He is owned by his breeder, G. Watts Humphrey Jr., and based at Keeneland with Humphrey’s son-in-law, trainer Phil Oliver.

The Guilliams win allowed Lanerie to tie Brian Hernandez Jr. for leading rider at the meet, with both jockeys racking up 25 winners. Jon Court was right behind them with 24 wins.

There also was a tie for leading trainer, with Tim Glyshaw and Mike Maker sharing the top spot with 8 wins each, followed closely by Buff Bradley with 7.

* Live action on the Kentucky circuit moves this week to Turfway Park, which starts a 16-meet Thursday, and Kentucky Downs, which starts a six-day meet Saturday.