Keepmeinmind Puts In Big Late Run To Break His Maiden In Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes

Cypress Creek and Arnold Bennewith’s Keepmeinmind added to the freshman tally of stallion Laoban with a win in Saturday’s Grade 2, $200,000 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. Jockey David Cohen rode the juvenile to his maiden triumph as the 2-1 favorite; the pair completed 1 1/16 miles over the fast main track in 1:44.52. Trained by Robertino Diodoro, Keepmeinmind was third last out in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

Also the runner-up in the G1 Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland, Keepmeinmind has collected a total of 18 points on the 2021 Road to the Kentucky Derby.

“He showed his talent today,” said Diodoro, who collected his first graded stakes win in the U.S. since Inside Straight won the 2017 Oaklawn Handicap (GII). “He’s had some tough trips previously and even though he was a maiden, we knew he’d fit with this field. I think he’ll be a horse that’ll run all day.”

Smiley Sobotka, the less-accomplished half of the Albaugh Family Stables-owned and Dale Romans-trained entry with Iroquois (GIII) winner Sittin On Go, broke fastest of all and led the field of nine 2-year-olds into the first turn and down the backstretch through quarter-mile fractions of :24.11 and :48.24 with longshot Oncoming Train and King Fury in close pursuit. Keepmeinmind was last of all about eight lengths behind.

King Fury poked his head in front leaving the far turn but Smiley Sobotka cut the corner smartly and regained the lead in upper stretch. All the while, a patient Cohen had plenty of horse beneath him with a quarter-mile to run and he swung Keepmeinmind out from last for his late run. As Smiley Sobotka plugged away on the lead, Keepmeinmind closed with a rush while seven-wide and caught the eventual runner-up with about 50 yards to the finish.

Arabian Prince was another 1 ¾ lengths back in third and returned $4.40 to show with Tyler Gaffalione aboard.

It was another two lengths back to Swill in fourth, who was followed by King Fury, Sittin On Go, Oncoming Train, Ultimate Badger and Inspector Frost.

“He’s had a lot of rough trips from the start of his career,” said Cohen, who won his first graded stakes race at Churchill Downs. “The slow pace today actually worked out for him; he didn’t seem to mind it at all. We saved ground going into the first turn and got into a nice rhythm. I let him gather himself up around the turn and didn’t want to swing too wide.”

Bred in Kentucky by Southern Equine Stable, Keepmeinmind is out of the unraced Victory Gallop mare Inclination. Raced by his breeder to a second on debut at Churchill Downs, the colt also ran second in the Breeders’ Futurity in those colors. He was sold to his current ownership before finishing third in the Breeders’ Cup. Overall, the colt’s record stands at one win, two seconds, and a third from four starts, with earnings just shy of $400,000.

After a brief break at WinStar Farm in Versailles, Ky., Keepmeinmind will be shipped to Oaklawn Park in Arkansas for the winter to begin preparations for his 3-year-old campaign.

“He’s just growing into himself,” Cohen said. “I told Robertino this would be our Derby horse. Mentally he hasn’t grown up yet in his previous starts. He’s starting to put it all together.”

The Kentucky Jockey Club is named in honor of the holding company that operated Churchill Downs at the time of the race’s inaugural running in 1920. In recent years, the Kentucky Jockey Club produced Kentucky Derby winners in WinStar Farm’s Super Saver, who won both races for trainer Todd Pletcher in 2009 and ’10, and Mike Pegram’s Real Quiet, the runner-up in the 1997 Kentucky Jockey Club who returned to win the Derby for trainer Bob Baffert the following spring.

The post Keepmeinmind Puts In Big Late Run To Break His Maiden In Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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