LOUISVILLE — Multiple Grade I-winning Einstein added another piece of polish to his résumé Saturday when he scored a gritty victory over a determined Cowboy Cal in deep stretch to defend his title in the Grade I Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs.
The 7-year-old entered the race off a 1-length triumph in the Grade I Santa Anita Handicap on March 7.
Einstein continued to make an early case for champion older male honors as he rallied on the extreme outside and matched strides with Cowboy Cal through the lane before edging clear by a head under jockey Julien Leparoux to win in 1:49.62.
Fellow Grade I winner Court Vision came across in third.
Trained by Helen Pitts-Blasi, Einstein won the 11⁄8-mile race last year and took the Grade II Clark Handicap over the main track at Churchill in November.
Humana Distaff: George Strawbridge's Informed Decision earned her second Grade I win in four weeks when she rallied from fifth in the stretch to take the Humana Distaff by three-quarters of a length.
The 4-year-old daughter of Monarchos entered the race off a narrow win over Ventura in the Grade I Vinery Madison at Keeneland on April 9 in what was her first start since October.
Just as she did in the Madison, Informed Decision came running late under Leparoux to overtake pacesetter Dubai Majesty and hold off runner-up Temple Street in what is now her fourth straight win dating back to September.
The final time for the 7-furlong race was 1:23.69.
Distaff Turf Mile: The progression of Darley Stables' Tizaqueena took another leap forward when the 4-year-old turned back Dawn After Dawn in the lane to win the Grade II Distaff Turf Mile by three-quarters of a length.
Tizaqueena was making her graded stakes debut in her sixth career start and showed she was ready to handle the step up in class. The dark bay filly battled side-by-side with Rasierra through a half mile in :49.37 and still drew clear to cover the distance in 1:38.86.
Dawn After Dawn was second with Lemon Chiffon third.
Eight Belles Stakes: Heiligbrodt Racing Stables' Four Gifts ran by the Larry Jones-trained Just Jenda in the stretch to capture the Grade III Eight Belles Stakes by 3 lengths.
The 71/2-furlong race was previously known as the La Troienne Stakes but was renamed this year in honor of Eight Belles, last year's Kentucky Derby runner-up who fatally broke down after the race. Jones was also the trainer of Eight Belles.
Sent off as the 9-5 favorite, Just Jenda took a short lead in the stretch but was caught by Four Gifts motoring on the outside, and the latter went on to cross the wire in 1:30.94.
Just Jenda, who is owned by Cindy Jones, wife of Larry, held on for second with another Jones trainee, Warrior Maid, third.
Churchill Downs Stakes: Ken and Sarah Ramsey's 4-year-old colt Accredit earned his first graded stakes victory when he set the early pace and held strong late to take the Grade II Churchill Downs Stakes by 13/4 lengths.
With Leparoux up, Accredit set fractions of :22.94 and :45.59 while being pushed by Hewitts to his outside. Hewitts came up alongside to challenge off the final turn, but Accredit rebroke in the stretch and drew off handily to win the 7-furlong race in 1:23.24.
My Pal Charlie came up for second, and The Roundhouse was third.