Vertical Oak cruises in Churchill Downs' Dream Supreme Stakes

Photo: Coady Photography

Kirk and Judy Robison’s Vertical Oak repelled the bid of Awestruck to win the $100,000 Dream Supreme Overnight Stakes by 2 3/4 lengths Sunday at Churchill Downs.

Ridden by Ricardo Santana Jr., Vertical Oak pressed the early pace set by Student Body through an opening quarter mile in :22.28. At the three-eighths pole, Santana took command of the race when Vertical Oak rallied three wide and held off late-running Awestruck to complete the six furlongs in 1:09.53.


“She was so impressive today,” Santana said. “We needed that one. She fought hard when she saw the horses on the inside of her. She’s a really nice filly and I’m happy she got back to the winner’s circle today.”


Trained by Steve Asmussen, Vertical Oak returned $4.60, $2.60 and $2.10. Awestruck, ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr., paid $4.40 and $2.80 while third-place finisher Dream Pauline returned $3.


“That was a really nice race,” said Asmussen, who also saddled Savorthetime (2004) and Speedinthruthecity (2014) to Dream Supreme victories. “She’s a very fast filly and that was a great effort.”


Vertical Oak now has eight wins through 20 starts, including three victories beneath the Twin Spires. The 4-year-old filly by Giant Oak has amassed $716,565 in purse earnings.


Lucy N Ethel, Astrollinthepark, Thirteen Songs, Swing and Sway and Student Body completed the running order.


With dark days Monday and Tuesday, live racing will resume Wednesday at Churchill Downs with a first post of 1 p.m. ET. There is a Single 6 Jackpot carryover of $31,367 on Races 5-10 and a $21,311 carryover for the Super Hi-5 in the finale.


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