BY BROCK SHERIDAN
Paradise Farm Corp and David Staudacher’s Me and Mr. C rallied in deep stretch to catch Cellist at the wire for his third straight stakes victory in the $190,000 Kentucky Downs Preview Turf Cup at Ellis Park Sunday. Me and Mr. C finished the mile-and-one-quarter on the turf in a course record time of 1:57.94 against 10 other 3-year-olds and older. The time equaled the course record set by Bluegrass Parkway in the 2021 Kentucky Downs TVG Preview Turf Cup.
Gerardo Corrales – Coady Photo
Ridden by Gerardo Corrales for trainer Mike Maker, Me and Mr. C was ninth through the first quarter mile as multiple graded stakes-winner Get Smokin clipped off a :23.94 fraction. Get Smokin and jockey Luis Saez continued to show the way ahead of Cellist in second while finishing the half-mile in :47.80 and the mile in 1:33.97 as Me and Mr. C raced about five lengths back in seventh. Turning for home, Me and Mr. C had only three horses beat while six lengths behind Get Smokin but began to navigate through the pack to get within three lengths at the eighth pole. Cellist took a short lead from Get Smokin inside the final sixteenth before Me and Mr. C
split horses and surged to the front in the final strides to win by a neck.
Cellist finished three-quarters of a length faster than Siege of Boston in third. Get Smokin, War Campaign, McLovin, Camp Hope, Mount Rundle, Spooky Channel, Kitodan and King Cause completed the order of finish.
Let go at 16-1, Me and Mr. C paid $34 to win.
Me and Mr. C won the $90,000 Soldier’s Dancer going a mile-and-70-yards on the synthetic course at Gulfstream on July 11 then won the $102,000 Jonathan B. Shuster Memorial at a mile-and-one-sixteenth on the grass at Horseshoe Indianapolis in his last race on July 8. He also counts the 2021 Grey Goose Turf Classic at Tampa Bay Downs and last year’s Mr. Steele at Gulfstream Park among his stakes victories.
The 6-year-old son of Journeyman Stud’s leading Florida sire Khozan has now won nine of 32 career starts, including four of his last seven going back to an allowance victory on the all-weather course at Gulfstream on Nov. 6. He has six seconds and five thirds while banking $545,039.
Out of the Dynaformer mare Abiding, Me and Mr. C was bred by Stonehedge LLC. He went through the 2019 Ocala Breeders’ Sale March Sale from the Paul Sharp consignment but was an RNA at $50,000.
Abiding also produced multiple stakes-winner Abiding Star, by Uncle Mo, a winner of $700,565. From six foals, all have started of which five are winners. The late Gilbert Campbell purchased the unraced Abiding for his Stonehedge breeding operation while she was in foal to Hard Spun for $85,000 out of the 2010 Keeneland November Sale.