Keeneland racing is back and what better way to start than with the $1 million Shadwell Turf (G1T). The field consisted of three top grade 1 starters including HEART TO HEART, ALMANAAR, VOODOO SONG and ANALYZE IT. There was no easy start to this race with DIVISIDERO getting scratched at the gate and BOUND FOR NOWHERE throwing a kicking fit delaying the loading process.
At the break, HEART TO HEART went to the front with VOODOO SONG, setting fractions of 23.37, 47.14 and 1:12.2. The 23-1, NEXT SHARES, broke from the rail and settled in behind ANALYZE IT in sixth. By the quarter pole, the front runners faded and NEXT SHARES widened his lead finishing by 3 1/4 lengths with a final time 1:36.97.
At 81-1 odds, GREAT WIDE OPEN came off the pace taking second, while QURBAAN finished third. This win boosted NEXT SHARES earnings to over $1 million in twenty starts and also earned him a spot in the Breeders' Cup Mile.
$500K Claiborne Breeders Futurity
The $500k Claiborne Breeders' Futurity is a 1 1/16 miles on the dirt and featured another exciting upset. With odds of 70-1, not many people were paying attention to KRA Stud Farm's KNICKS GO. Those who did, sure had a nice payday! And KNICKS GO secured his spot in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.
KNICKS GO met no resistance has pulled away in the backstretch. By the quarter pole, no other horse in the field could ship away at the distance as the PAYNTER colt cleared the wire by 5 1/2 lengths ahead. SIGNALMAN finished second with DEVIATION coming in third. The Futurity was the first colt's first black type win, first graded stakes win and first grade 1 win.
$400K First Lady (G1T)
German bred A RAVING BEAUTY had 17 starts in her home country and was then prepped in the US under Michael Dubb. After taking the Beaugay Stakes (G3T) and Just a Game Stakes (G1T) at Belmont, she found her way into Chad Brown's stable. After a rough performance in the Woodford Reserve Ballston Spa, it seems the mare really likes Kentucky. Or maybe just the Keeneland turf. Either way, the 5-year-old mare broke from the gate today setting the pace and finding her spot just off the inside rail. VALADORNA followed closely, but A RAVING BEAUTY maintained a half-length lead as she turned for home. DONA BRUJA challenged late, but there was no stopping the mare as she went gate to wire in 1:37.78.
$500K Champagne Stakes (G1)
COMPLEXITY made for an exciting day at Belmont. The 2-year-old colt under the tutelage of Chad Brown went gate-to-wire for an exciting win in the $500k Champagne Stakes. The colt covered the mile in a quick 1:34.63 and earned himself a spot in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. While the win was exciting, trainer Chad Brown isn't convinced the colt will be able to handle the two turn Juvenile. Jockey Jose Ortiz believes that's as far as he'll want to go. The colt grabbed the lead from the start and beat the competition by five lengths.
CODE OF HONOR took a stumble at the start and was last in the first quarter mile. While he worked his way towards the lead, he was no threat to COMPLEXITY. CALL PAUL took third by a nose over AURELIUS MAXIMUS.
$500K Hill Prince Stakes (G2T)
After a clean break, SAND DANCER went straight to the front from the outside while HAVE AT IT held a steady pace behind GOLDEN BROWN. While SAND DANCER held a significant lead going into to the turn, HAVE AT IT slowly edged in front of GOLDEN BROWN and started to quickly close the gap as the field turned to the stretch. The colt rallied hard to beat SAND DANCER at the wire in 1:50.52. PRIORITIZE finished third behind SAND DANCER.