05/05/2017 1:55PM

Green Mask rallies past Latent Revenge in Twin Spires

Emily Shields
Green Mask rallied in the final furlong to edge Latent Revenge in the Twin Spires.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Green Mask has won a number of races over his career, but he’s also been notorious for settling for second more often. On Friday at Churchill Downs, newly minted Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano timed Green Mask's run to perfection and he closed stoutly in the final strides to beat pacesetter Latent Revenge in the Grade 3, $150,000 Twin Spires Turf Sprint.

Green Mask ($8.60), kept toward the outer portion of the course throughout by Castellano on ground rated as good, closed from third in upper stretch to prevail by two lengths over Latent Revenge, who had a two-length lead with a furlong to go.

Why Two was another 1 3/4 lengths back in third and was followed, in order, by Pure Sensation, Wilbo, Holding Gold, Partly Mocha, Derek’s Smile, Expected Ruler, and Tell All You Know.

Green Mask needed 58.02 seconds to complete five furlongs on a course whose record is 55 seconds, but he flew through the final furlong in approximately 11.60 seconds.

“He handled the turf really well,” Castellano said. “He pulled me to a good spot.”

Once there, though, Castellano heeded the instructions of trainer Brad Cox, who Castellano said told him to “wait to the last moment.”

When Castellano saw the lead Latent Revenge had a furlong out after a half-mile in 46.29 seconds, he was fearful he had waited too long.

“I thought, ‘I can’t wait too long. There’s too much distance’ ” to make up, Castellano said. “I timed it right. He did really well. It worked out great.”

Pure Sensation, the 3-2 favorite, was in a good stalking position on the final turn but never mounted a rally.

“I had a good trip, saved all the ground, but he was struggling a little, slipping,” said Jose Ortiz, who rode Pure Sensation.

Green Mask, 6, is a gelding by Mizzen Mast who now has six wins in 24 starts and seven seconds, including runner-up finishes in his two prior starts this year, most recently the Grade 2 Shakertown at Keeneland on April 8.

Green Mask is owned by Abdullah Saeed Almaddah. The $88,350 winner’s share brought his career earnings to more than $739,000.