You are here

Dream run continues for Cody’s Wish with G1 Churchill Downs Stakes victory


Breeders’ Cup winner Cody’s Wish picked up where he left off in 2022 as he notched a third consecutive G1 victory with a scintillating display in the Churchill Downs Stakes on Kentucky Derby Day, Saturday, 6 May.

Named after Cody Dorman, who suffers from the rare genetic disorder Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome, Cody’s Wish provided one of the most uplifting stories of last year as he graduated to G1 honours in the Forego Stakes and Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile.

Cody and his family were on hand to be part of an emotional win at Keeneland in November and the Dormans once again watched on as Cody’s Wish attempted to maintain his perfect record at Churchill Downs.

Held up at the rear of the field, Cody’s Wish started to make his move around runners turning in. The Bill Mott-trained five-year-old still had significant ground to make up in the straight but stormed down the centre of the course, picking off the leading duo of Hoist The Gold and Here Mi Song entering the final furlong.

Cody’s Wish powered away from the field before coasting home under Junior Alvarado for an easy four and three-quarter length verdict over Hoist The Gold in the seven-furlong feature.

Bill Mott said: “With this horse winning, it’s really way more than a horse race. Cody Dorman and Cody’s Wish make it something special. When this horse came back after the race, and hearing the crowd, they were going crazy up there, more than they normally cheer for any other race. And the horse is just so great. He’s been showing up every time. He has been off since the Breeders’ Cup, but it sure looked like he was ready today.

“I get choked up easily, but when he was walking over, my assistant Kenny [McCarthy] said he paused, and he looked at Cody, and said it was almost like there is a connection there. Usually, we don’t see that in horses. For what reason, the horse knows something is special.”

Junior Alvarado added: “I don’t even know how to describe how much better Cody’s Wish was today. What I felt is what you want to feel when you ride horses in big races, to feel the whole machine underneath you. Today, he was just a lovely animal to ride. He was there with me every step of the way.

“When I asked him, he didn’t hold anything back, he just went right by those horses. This is what I love to do with this horse. I just want to keep the story going.”