Rothko rolls in Aristides
Padua Stables' homebred Rothko easily proved best under the lights in Saturday's Grade 3, $109,400 Aristides, registering his first stakes win with a 2 1/2-length victory at Churchill Downs. The Steve Asmussen-trained colt scored as the even-money favorite beneath Corey Nakatani. Rothko broke cleanly from his rail post and settled in a perfect stalking position behind a three-wide speed duel between Will's Wildcat, Whiskey Rebellion and Cash Refund. The trio whipped through an opening quarter-mile in :21 2/5, with Cash Refund slightly in front on the far outside, and continued to motor around the far turn. Rothko steadily advanced through the bend and circled rivals to reach contention turning for home. Cash Refund was still clinging to a narrow advantage after a half-mile in :44 4/5, but Rothko was clearly going going best and swept past the front-runners, quickly accelerating away from his foes. He had drawn clear by 4 1/2 lengths at the eighth pole and sailed to the wire, completing six furlongs in 1:09 2/5 over the fast track. Will's Wildcat, who was off as the 7-1 fourth choice in the seven-horse field, re-rallied along the inside in the stretch to gain second, 2 1/4 lengths better than the 19-1 Whiskey Rebellion. Good Lord came next and was followed by Noble's Promise, Cash Refund and Global Power. Riley Tucker was scratched. A maiden winner in third career start last August at Saratoga, Rothko then captured an entry-level allowance at Monmouth Park and an optional/claiming event at Churchill Downs. The bay four-year-old concluded his sophomore season with a second to The Factor in the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita. Rothko made only start in 2012, recording a disappointing fifth in the Grade 2 San Carlos in February, and returned from a 98-day freshening on Saturday. With the $66,472 payday, he's now earned $228,552 from a 8-4-2-0 line. By Arch, Rothko is out of the Time for a Change mare Raspberry Eggcream, who is also the dam of Grade 3 winner Electrify; listed winner Cream Only; and stakes-placed Kinsey. She is a daughter of multiple stakes vixen Vennila Cream and counts Grade 3 winner Kazoo as a half-brother. Multiple Grade 3 queen Redundancy is Rothko's third maternal dam.