Described by jockey Junior Alvarado as “a big horse that’s mentally still a baby,” Enticed nonetheless overcame the effects of a congested field to prevail over Tiz Mischief in Saturday’s $200,000 Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) at Churchill Downs as the 3-1 favorite.
Enduring some bumping in the first turn and rank at times while traveling between rivals down the backside, Enticed responded to Alvarado’s urgings on the far turn, swung wide for the drive, and wore down long-time leader Promises Fulfilled before turning back a strong challenge from Tiz Mischief to win by a short head for Godolphin and trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.
“There’s still room for improvement,” said Alvarado, a sentiment shared by Godolphin’s Jimmy Bell.
“He’s a big colt, young, a little green. We were hoping to get a little experience and probably got more than we were hoping for, but this was a great effort,” Bell said.
Enticed paid $8.80 after completing 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:44.42, just over a second slower than the 1:43.36 Road to Victory needed to win the Golden Rod (G2) for juvenile fillies two races earlier.
Tiz Mischief, the 5-1 second choice, finished 2 1/2 lengths clear of Promises Fulfilled, who set fractions of :23.60, :47.70, and 1:12.53. It was another 2 1/2 lengths back to High North, who was followed by Lone Sailor, Reride, Quip, Givemeaminit, John Tippmann, Bravazo, Arrival, Peppered, and Gotta Go.
Diamond King clipped heels in the first turn and unseated jockey Frankie Pennington, who reportedly was taken to the hospital.
Exiting a third-place finish in the Champagne (G1), in which eventual Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) winner Good Magic finished second, Enticed earned 10 qualifying points toward Kentucky Derby eligibility for his victory Saturday night. He now has 12 points total.
Enticed debuted at Saratoga on September 4, winning a six-furlong maiden in the mud by 1 3/4 lengths. His career earnings after three starts now total $213,880.
A homebred foaled in Kentucky, Enticed is by Medaglia d’Oro and is the first offspring out of It’s Tricky, a multiple Grade 1 winner by Mineshaft.