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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Private Zone was the front-running winner in the $500,000 Churchill Downs Stakes as Bayern faded badly Saturday in his season debut.
Many in the record crowd of 170,513 at Churchill Downs expected a victorious return for Bayern, the 4-5 favorite making his first start since winning the Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita in November.
Bayern, trained by Bob Baffert, wound up sixth.
Private Zone who grabbed the lead early and powered to a 4 1-4 length victory over Nates Mineshaft.
The second choice at 5-2, Private Zone raced to his eighth win in 27 starts. The 6-year-old, ridden by Martin Pedroza and trained by Jorge Navarro, improved $7.40 to win.
The winner ran seven furlongs in 1:22.54.