On October 11th, a pair of intriguing maiden special weight races for 2yos were held at Keeneland, and it appears likely that the winners could be bound for Kentucky Derby prep races in the near future. Let’s take a quick look at the results!
Keeneland Race 4: Maiden Special Weight
8 furlongs on turf
Wesley Ward’s French-bred Gaultier was favored in a large field of twelve horses, but was never closer than sixth and eventually retreated to finish eleventh. In the meantime, Cotton Town–a 34-1 shot owned by Calumet Farm and trained by D. Wayne Lukas–settled in tenth early on and produced an impressive rally in the final quarter-mile to get up and win by a half-length in the time of 1:39.11 over a firm turf course. A son of Hat Trick out of a Street Cry mare, Cotton Town is bred for success on turf, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him give dirt a try later this year as the early Kentucky Derby prep races begin. Sea of Erin was reserved in the middle of the pack for much of the race, moved up to take command of the leading passing the eighth pole, and stayed on well to be second by a half-length over Cherry Wine, who endured a very tough trip in the homestretch but still finished well to secure third place.
Keeneland Race 7: Maiden Special Weight
7 furlongs 184 feet on dirt
Coming off of a runner-up effort at Churchill Downs, Synchrony was well-bet while facing ten rivals, and after tracking the pace on the outside through the first half-mile, the son of Tapit easily took the lead and powered away in the final furlong to triumph by 3 3/4 lengths in the respectable time of 1:23.37 seconds. Owned by Pin Oak Stable and trained by Donnie Von Hemel, Synchrony looks bound for Kentucky Derby prep races after this impressive victory. Silvertown saved ground while racing in fourth, chased Synchrony into the homestretch, and stayed on well to finish second by two lengths over Battle Tap, who made a wide rally from fifth to finish a clear third. Moon Gate Warrior dueled for the lead through fast fractions of :23.05 and :46.35, but tired from his early exertions and finished fourth while his pace-setting rival Congrats Given faded to seventh.
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