01/15/2017 2:28PM

Lockdown makes Busanda her first stakes triumph


Lockdown has a long way to go to match the achievements of her older sister, Close Hatches, but she joined her sister as a stakes winner Sunday, taking the $100,000 Busanda by 2 1/2 lengths at Aqueduct.

Under Kendrick Carmouche, Lockdown stalked the pace-setting 3-5 favorite Libby’s Tail for the opening five furlongs of the Busanda, drew on even terms at the three-eighths pole, then opened up a length advantage coming to the quarter pole. She needed to be kept to the task by Carmouche through the stretch as Libby’s Tail attempted to fight on.

Libby’s Tail finished second by 3 1/2 lengths over No Sweat, who was followed by Frank’s Folly and Sand Shark.

The win was the second from three career starts for Lockdown, a daughter of First Defence owned and bred by Juddmonte Farms and trained by Bill Mott. She is a full sister to Close Hatches, who won five Grade 1 stakes in her career.

“It looked like she ran pretty well,” said Mott, who watched the race via simulcast from Florida. “She went on and cleared that horse and then it looked like she was kind of waiting on that horse.”

Carmouche said it was his intention to get Lockdown into the race early on to make sure Libby’s Tail didn’t have it all her own way.

"I just put pressure on [from] the gate to the wire and I had to move around the turn to make sure I held her steady,” Carmouche said.

Lockdown covered the mile and 70 yards in 1:44.75 and returned $6.60 as the second choice.

Mott said he is not sure what he will do next with Lockdown. “it’s not the greatest time of year to move a horse to Florida,” he said, noting there is an acclimation period for horses moving from cold to hot weather.

If Mott opts to leave Lockdown in New York, she could run in the $150,000 Busher Stakes here on Feb. 25. The Busher then leads to the Grade 3 Gazelle on April 8. Close Hatches won the Gazelle in 2013 before finishing seventh in the Kentucky Oaks.

The victory in the Busanda earned Lockdown 10 qualifying points toward the May 5 Kentucky Oaks under a system used by Churchill Downs to determine the Oaks field in the event more than 14 horses enter the race.