While most eyes were at Oaklawn Park, Keeneland continued to deliver its competitive stakes action. There were two graded races that got off the ground: The Doubldogdare and the Elkhorn. If you missed out, don't fret because we've got the recap for you:
The $100K DoubleDogDare Stakes (G3) won BONNY SOUTH, ridden by Florent Geroux, trained by Brad Cox, owned by Juddmonte Farms Inc. — in a three-way battle to the wire!
BONNY SOUTH broke with the field, but was content to race in midpack for Florent Geroux, just four lengths off the lead, while GRACEFUL PRINCESS led through fractions of 24.11 and 48.02. They quickend the pace and BONNY SOUTH made her move for the lead. She was joined by ROYAL FLAG and together they made three in a line: GRACEFUL PRINCESS, BONNY SOUTH, ROYAL FLAG. But it was BONNY SOUTH with the strongest closing kick — she digs deep and maintains her advantage through the wire to win by a head. ROYAL FLAG settled for second, GRACEFUL PRINCESS finishsed third. The final time for the seven furlong dash was 1:43.46.
BONNY SOUTH paid $9.40 to win, $4.20 to place, and $3.20 to show. She is by MUNNINGS out of TOUCH THE STAR by TAPIT. She improves her record to 4 wins, 3 seconds, from 9 total starts, pushing earnings to $592,150. This was her first start in almost five months. Yet she earned a 102 Equibase Speed Figure, tying her second-fastest speed figure from the Alabama Stakes (G1) last Summer. At one mile and one-sixteenth, BONNY SOUTH is 3 for 4.
The $200K Elkhorn Stakes (G2) was won by SAY THE WORD, ridden by Luis Saez, trained by Philip D'Amato, owned by Agave Racing Stable and Sam-Son Farm — in a convincing score!
SAY THE WORD broke alertly for Luis Saez, but characteristically took his position toward the back of the field, while the front runners opened the quarters in 24.31, 48.94 and 1:14.42. It was a comfortable pace. SAY THE WORD found a relaxing rhythem through backside, improving a couple spots effortlessly to be within two lengths of the lead. But TIDE OF THE SEA chose to quicken the pace with his early move turning for home. Luis Saez then says go with SAY THE WORD, and together they race to the front, followed by CHANNEL CAT behind them. But as they charge down the stretch,SAY THE WORD's gigantic strides are much too hard to match; he draws clear in deep sretch to score by two lengths. CHANNEL CAT ran on for second, CRAFTY DADDY was a neck back in third. The final time was 2:28.26 for the one mile and one-half.
SAY THE WORD paid $7.20 to win, $4.80 to place, and $3.20 to show. He is by MORE THAN READY out of DANCEFORTHECAUSE by GIANT'S CAUSEWAY. He is a Grade 1 winner, despite this race being only his second graded victory. He's won 6 times, placed 3 times, and showed 5 times. He pushes his earnings to $609,292, while achieving his fastest speed figure of his career. Note: in all five tries at one mile and one-half, SAY THE WORD has not failed to hit the board.