It was a rainy affair at Keeneland this past weekend, but it did not slow down the racing action. We had six graded stakes races worth over $1.1 million up for grabs. We had the Lexington Stakes, which awarded urgent points for Kentucky Derby prospects running a bit short of qualifying. We had two Grade 1 turf races in the Maker's Mile and Jenney Wiley Stakes, plus three other contests worth a total of $350K. Let's get to recapping.
The $300K Maker's Mile Stakes (G1) was won by RAGING BULL, ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., trained by Chad Brown, owned by Peter M. Brant — in powerful victory.
Sent off at odds of $3.50 to win, RAGING BULL broke well and took a tracking trip in mid pack all the way through the backside, while the leaders showed the way through opening fractions of 22.47 and 45.67. He was content to let the hot pace develop in front of him before making his bold move at the turn. While on the three-path, he ranges up for Irad Ortiz Jr., seizes command at the top of stretch, and draws off in the final furlong for the win, holding off the late challenges from RIDE A COMET, who finished second, and SACRED LIFE, who rallied for third The final time for the one mile race was 1:33.86.
RAGING BULL paid $9.00 to win, $4.20 to place, and $3.40 to show. He is by DARK ANGEL out of ROSA BONHEUR by MR. GREELEY. He wins his 7th start from 18 races, while pushing his earnings to $1,496,750.
The $100K TVG Limestone Turf Sprint Stakes was won by TOBY'S HEART, ridden by Javier Castellano, trained by Brian Lynch, owned by Terry Hamilton, Brian Lynch and Gary Barber — reeling in GOIN GOOD in deep stretch for the victory.
Favored at odds of 2-1, TOBY'S HEART broke evenly and was positioned mid pack in a bunched up field along the backside. The front runners ran the opening quarters in 22.35 and 45.39. TOBY'S HEART runs into traffic trouble and has to swing five-wide in the stretch, but ultimately finds her best stride in time to mow the field down for the win. It was clear cut victory over GOIN GOOD, who was a length and a half back in second, with NAVRATILOVA in third. The final time was 1:02.29 for the five and half furlongs over the turf.
TOBY'S HEART paid $6.40 to win, $3.40 to place, and $2.80 to show. TOBY'S HEART is by JACK MILTON out of PICK OF THE PACK by LIL'S LAD. She won her 3rd race in 4 total starts, pushing her earnings to $154,150. She earned her highest speed figure for this effort, making her rebound performance from her loss in the Herecomesthebride Stakes, a winning one.
The $300K Coolmore Jenny Wiley Stakes (G1) was won by JULIET FOXTROT, ridden by Tyler Gafflione, trained by Brad Cox, owned by Juddmonte Farms — in a gate to wire victory!
As the odds-on favorite, JULIET FOXTROT broke the best and secured the lead for Tyler Gafflione, pushing the pace of 24.35 and 49.45 for opening quarters over the yielding turf. Allowed to amble song the backside uncontested, JULIET FOXTROT quickened with three furlongs to go, and came roaring off the turn with a two length lead. TAMAHERE gave chase in second, LA SIGNARE and ETOILE were plugging away in third and fourth. But JULIET FOXTROT was full of run in deep stretch and crossed the wire first for the win. TAMAHERE was second, LASIGNARE, third. The final time for the one mile and one-sixteenth is 1:44:51.
JULIET FOXTROT paid $5.40 for the win, $3.40 to place, and $2.80 to show. She is by DANSILI out of KILO ALPHA by KING's BEST. She improves her record to 6 wins, 2 seconds, and 3 thirds, and her earnings now exceeding $701K.
The $200K Stonestreet Lexington Stakes (G3) was won by KING FURY, ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr., trained by Kenneth McPeek, owned by Fem Circle Stables and Three Chimney Farm LLC — in a commanding score!
Sent off at odds of 18-1, KING FURY broke the fastest out of the gate for Brian Hernandez Jr., but conceded the lead to the early speedsters to his inside. He was positioned toward the rear of the field, about ten lengths off the lead, while NOBLE REFLECTION set a quick tempo of 22.39 and 45.87. They were strung out over a lot of muddy ground, more than fifteen lengths from front to back. With three furlongs to go, KING FURY makes a giant move for Brian Hernandez Jr., riding up the rails to be in contention. STARRININMYDREAMS is also in the chase, racing three wide, while behind him is UNBRIDLED HONOR commencing his own rally as well. But when they straighten for home, KING FURY is full of run! He splits horses and kicks away from the field with good energy, keeping the late closers at bay. UNBRIDLED HONOR rallied for second, STARRINMYDREAMS could do no better than third. The final time for the one mile and one-sixteenth was 1:43.50.
KING FURY paid $38.40 to win, $18.80 to place, and $10.20 to show. He is by CURLIN out of TARIS by FLATTER. He improves his records to 3 wins from 6 starts, pushing his earnings to $262,739. He achieves his fastest speed figure to date, while earning 20 qualifying points for the Kentucky Derby. This moves him to 28th on the Derby Leaderboard, which isn't high enough to secure a spot in the Kentucky Derby gate. But that doesn't mean he won't be a force to reckon with, down the Triple Crown line. It's likely he'll be pointed to the Preakness Stakes (G1), which his sire CURLIN won in 2007.
The $150K Ben Ali Stakes (G3) was won by SILVER DUST, ridden by Adam Beschizza, trained by W. Calhoun, owned by Tom R. Durant — in a gutsy win!
Sent off at odds 9-2, SILVER DUST broke the slowest under Adam Beschizza, but was hustled up to race in second behind pacesetter SPRAWL, through opening fractions of 23.79 and 47.63. It was a moderate clip, but they slowed it down leaving the backside. They bunched up as they cornered for home, with any one of the five with a chance to win it. They made five in a line, but it was SILVER DUST running the best of them all! Adam Beschizza fully extends SILVER DUST over the length of the stretch to beat the field to the wire. NIGHT OPS was half length back in second, then a neck back to BEAU LUMINARIE in third. The final time for the one mile and one-eighth event was 1:50.21.
SILVER DUST paid $11.20 to win, $4.40 to place, and $2.40 to show. He is by TAPIT out of FILARE L'ORO by HARDSPUN. He improves his record to 7 wins, 7 seconds, and 5 thirds out of 33 total starts, while pushing his earnings to $975,677.
The $100K Giant's Causeway Stakes was won by CHANGE OF CONTROL, ridden by Colby Hernandez, trained Michelle Lovell, owned by Horseshoe Racing LLC — in a sweeping move!
Sent off at odds of 9-1, CHANGE OF CONTROL broke well from the eighth post but conceded the lead to the speedballs to her inside. The field ran a quarter in 23.00, a half in 46.97. CHANGE OF CONTROL had to race wide along the backside, traveling on the four-path while only two lengths from the front. Meanwhile INTO MYSTIC gets a dream trip up the inside rail, cruising forward as they turn for home. INTO MYSTIC spurts away to a two length advantage, but CHANGE OF CONTROL doesn't lose sight of her; she swings five-wide into the clear for Colby Hernandiez and turns on the jets in the final furlong to reel in INTO MYSTIC for the victory. INTO MYSTIC could not go with her and had to settle for second, JAKARTA ran third. The final time for the five and a half furlong race was 1:04.48.
CHANGE OF CONTROL paid $19.80 to win, $6.00 to place, and $3.40 to show. She is by FED BIZ out of AMERICA'S BLOSSOM by QUIET AMERICAN. She improves her record to 6 wins, 5 seconds, and 5 thirds, from 25 total starts. Her earnings now exceed $413K.