Black Onyx, ridden by Joe Bravo, fought off the competition down the stretch to capture Saturday's $550,000 Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park. The 1 1/8-mile stakes is Turfway's main prep event for the Kentucky Derby.
The favorite in the 12-horse field at 3-1 was My Name is Michael followed at 7-2 by Uncaptured and Balance the Books at 4-1. Black Onyx, trained by Kelly Breen, went off at 15-1.
Setting the pace in the Spiral was Mac the Man followed closely by Giant Finish and Taken by the Storm. Uncaptured, the 3-1 morning line favorite, was racing fourth with Fear the Kitten in fifth.
Heading into the far turn, Giant Finish moved to the lead followed by Taken by the Storm. Gaining ground on the outside was Black Onyx and Uncaptured.
On the final turn, Taken by the Storm and Black Onyx were together on the lead with Giant Finish and Uncaptured fighting to stay in contention.
At the top of the stretch, Black Onyx had the lead followed by Taken by the Storm, Uncaptured, Giant Finish and Fear the Kitten. Black Onyx was able to hold off Uncaptured down the stretch and post a 1 1/2-length victory.
Finishing third was Giant Finish followed by Taken by the Storm, Fear the Kitten, For Greater Glory, Channel Isle, My Name Is Michael, Capo Bastone, General Election and Balance the Books. Mac the Man was eased down the stretch and walked off the track.
The time for the Spiral Stakes was 1:51.98 on Turfway's synthetic track.
Making his stakes debut, Black Onyx picks up 50 points in the new Kentucky Derby points system that will determine the starting field for the Run for the Roses.
Owned by Sam Herzberg's Sterling Racing, Black Onyx garnered his third win in five career starts and $330,000. The colt has banked $420,680.
Black Onyx has now won races on all three kinds of surfaces -- dirt, grass and synthetic. His grass victory came on Feb. 23 at Gulfstream Park in an optional claiming event.
Breen is best known as the trainer of 2011 Belmont Stakes winner Ruler On Ice who is owned by George and Lori Hall.
"This is the first horse I've trained for someone other than the Halls in about the last five or six years," said Breen. "I've been friends with Sam since I won the Louisiana Derby in 2011 with Pants On Fire. He came into the winner's circle with us, and we've been friends since then."
Black Onyx returned $33.40, $14.20 and $10.80. Uncaptured paid $5.80 and $4.80, and Giant Finish paid $14.40 to show.
The last two editions of the Spiral Stakes were won by Team Valor and trainer Graham Motion, with Went the Day Well (2012) and Animal Kingdom (2011). The owner and trainer did not have a horse in this year's Spiral, but won the Rushaway Stakes on the program with Crop Report.