05/07/2011 1:50PM

Turf Sprint: Regally Ready extends win streak to four

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Tom Keyser
Corey Nakatani guides Regally Ready to victory in the Twin Spires Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Regally Ready continued his ascension through the turf sprint ranks with a solid 1 1/4-length victory in Saturday’s Grade 3, $111,200 Twin Spires Turf Sprint Stakes at Churchill Downs. It was his fourth consecutive victory and fifth from six starts overall sprinting on grass.

After winning three consecutive sprint stakes going 6 1/2 furlongs down the hill at Santa Anita while racing on the pace, Regally Ready showed the ability to win from off the pace against a quality field Saturday.

Under Corey Nakatani, Regally Ready was two lengths off the pace set by Southern Region and Bridgetown, who were a half-length apart through fractions of 21.89 seconds and 44.89.

Inside the eighth pole, Nakatani got Regally Ready off the hedge, and he was able to outfinish Bridgetown, who had taken the lead in upper stretch. Regally Ready, a son of More Than Ready owned by Vinery Stables and trained by Steve Asmussen, covered the five furlongs in 56.57 seconds over a turf course labeled firm. Regally Ready returned $8.80 as the 3-1 third choice.

Asmussen said Regally Ready earned his trip to California for the winter by virtue of his dominant allowance win over this turf last fall. With Saturday’s victory, Regally Ready earned the right to be pointed to the Breeders’ Cup Sprint back here in November.

“It has everything to do with where the Breeders’ Cup runs this year and how we do under these circumstances,” Asmussen said. “He’s run quite a bit recently with this race, and we had that in mind off how well he had run out in California. Now we need to map out a plan that gets us here in the fall.”

Bridgetown, who had gone 2 for 2 in turf sprinters this year for trainer Todd Pletcher, finished second by 3 1/4 lengths over defending Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint winner Chamberlain Bridge, the 2- 1 favorite.

“He’s probably a little better on really firm ground,” Pletcher said. “This one probably still has a little bit of cut to it. I thought he ran his race, just second best.”