By Amy Gregory —-
LEXINGTON, KY (April 15, 2017) – Fern Circle Stables’ Senior Investment nailed West Coast at the wire to win the 36th running of the $200,000 Stonestreet Lexington (G3) for 3-year-olds by a head.
Also capturing stakes Saturday afternoon on Coolmore Day at Keeneland were Godolphin Racing’s Watershed in the 87th running of the $200,000 Ben Ali (G3) for 4-year-olds and up and Stonestreet Stables, George Bolton and Peter Leidel’s Lady Aurelia in the 21st running of the $100,000 Giant’s Causeway for fillies and mares.
In the Stonestreet Lexington, Senior Investment rallied from far back to catch West Coast and notch his first graded-stakes victory.
Trained by Kenny McPeek and ridden by Channing Hill, Senior Investment covered the 1 1/16 miles on a fast main track in 1:45.05. It was the first victory in the race for both McPeek and Hill.
Resiliency set the pace and led the field of 10 through fractions of :24.16 and :47.71 as Senior Investment raced in eighth.
On the far turn, Time to Travel moved to the lead only to have West Coast quickly pounce and take over the lead at the head of the stretch. West Coast opened a daylight margin until Senior Investment arrived on the scene late to prevail in a three-horse photo with No Dozing finishing another neck back in third.
The victory was worth $120,000 and increased Senior Investment’s earnings to $207,080 with a record of 8-3-0-1. A Keeneland sales graduate, Senior Investment is a Kentucky-bred son of Discreetly Mine out of the Deputy Commander mare Plaid.
Senior Investment returned $24.20, $8.20 and $4.20. West Coast, ridden by Flavien Prat, returned $3.80 and $2.60 with favored No Dozing returning $2.40 to show under Joel Rosario.
Time to Travel finished another 3¼ lengths back in fourth and was followed in order by Lookin At Blessing, Convict Pike, Souper Tapit, He’s Munnie, Capt. Grider and Resiliency.
In the Ben Ali, Watershed surged past Bird Song at the sixteenth pole en route to a 2 3/4-length victory.
Trained by Kiaran McLaughlin and ridden by Paco Lopez, Watershed covered the 1 1/8 miles on the fast main track in 1:50.92. For Lopez, it was his first Keeneland stakes victory.
Conquest Enforcer led the field of eight through fractions of :23.95 and :47.17 but yielded the lead to Bird Song on the far turn. Bird Song kicked clear entering the stretch but could not fend off Watershed who drew clear in the final 100 yards.
Defending champion Eagle rallied from the rear of the field to take second by a nose over Bird Song.
The victory was worth $120,000 and raised Watershed’s bankroll to $402,550 with a record of 14-5-0-3. Now undefeated in two starts at Keeneland, Watershed collected his first graded stakes victory.
Watershed is a 5-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Bernardini out of the Dubai Millennium (GB) mare Thousand Islands (GB).
Watershed rewarded his backers with payoffs of $12.20, $5.40 and $3.40. Eagle, ridden by Robby Albarado, returned $4.40 and $2.80 with Bird Song paying $2.60 to show under Brian Hernandez Jr.
Blofeld finished another neck back in fourth and was followed in order by Conquest Enforcer, Scuba, Taketothestreets and Frammento.
In the Giant’s Causeway, the 3-year-old Lady Aurelia crushed older fillies and mares in her first start in nearly seven months by cruising to a 2½-length victory over Nobody’s Fault.
Trained by Wesley Ward and ridden by John Velazquez, Lady Aurelia covered the 5½ furlongs on a firm turf course in 1:02.40, a clocking that was just off the stakes record of 1:02.23 set by West Ocean in 2010.
Lady Aurelia raced in fifth place early as Ruby Notion set the pace. On the far turn, Lady Aurelia began to move, entered the stretch five wide and quickly blew past her rivals to win for the fourth time in five starts.
The victory was worth $60,000 and increased Lady Aurelia’s earnings to $429,668 in a career that includes Group 1 and 2 wins in Europe. She was named the European champion 2-year-old filly of 2016.
A Keeneland sales graduate, Lady Aurelia is a Kentucky-bred daughter of Scat Daddy out of the Forest Wildcat mare D’ Wildcat Speed.
Lady Aurelia returned $4, $3.60 and $2.60. Nobody’s Fault, ridden by Jose Valdivia Jr., returned $27 and $11.80 and finished a neck in front of Ruby Notion, who paid $6 to show under Joel Rosario.
It was another 1¼ lengths back to Triple Chelsea, who was followed in order by Miss Katie Mae (IRE), Rapid Rhythm, 2016 winner Exaggerated, Pretty Perfection, Lots o’ Lex, Bibby and Lajatico (GB).
For more than 80 years, the Keeneland Association has devoted itself to the health and vibrancy of the Thoroughbred industry. As the world’s largest Thoroughbred auction company, Keeneland conducts sales every January, September and November. Its sales graduates dominate racing across the globe at every level. In April and October, Keeneland offers some of the highest caliber and richest Thoroughbred racing in the world. In 2015, Keeneland hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. Uniquely structured, Keeneland is a private, for-profit corporation that returns its earnings to the industry and the community in the form of higher purses, and it has donated millions of dollars in charitable contributions for education, research and health and human services throughout Central Kentucky. To learn more about Keeneland, visit Keeneland.com.