KEEPMEINMIND, a LAOBAN son, first stepped foot onto the Churchill Downs racetrack in September as a maiden where he placed second. Yet trainer Robertino Diodoro launched him onto The Road to the Kentucky Derby and the Breeders' Cup by entering him into Keeneland's Claiborne Breeders' Futurity (G1), where he placed second to ESSENTIAL QUALITY. The two would meet again in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, but KEEPMEINMIND fell short again, this time in third place behind ESSENTIAL QUALITY and HOT ROD CHARLIE. He finally found his groove however in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) Saturday at Churchill.
With a slow break, the colt found himself in last place after a slow break. The pacesetter, SMILEY SOBOTKA, ran decent fractions of :42.11 and :48.24. At the quarter pole, KEEPMEINMIND still hadn't gained much ground. He'd only moved up one horse, but as they angled out wide in the turn and SMILEY SOBOTKA made a smart move to kick ahead, KEEPMEINMIND found his stride and romped to the lead under jockey David Cohen.
"The slow pace actually worked out for him; he didn't seem to mind at all. We saved ground going into the first turn and got into a nice rhythm. I let him gather himself around the turn and didn't want to swing too wide," said Cohen, who also noted that the pair had a lot of rough trips from the start of his career.
KEEPMEINMIND earned 10 points to the 2021 Kentucky Derby, giving him a total of 18 so far. SMILEY SOBOTKA earned four points and ARABIAN PRINCE was third with 2 points. SWILL earned 1 point for fourth place.
This was the first Kentucky Jockey Club win for both trainer Diodoro and jockey Cohen. He is owned by Cypress Creek LLC and Arnold Bennewith. The plan is for him to get a two week break before heading to Oaklawn for the winter.