The patience required by and given to the six-year-old Tom’s d’Etat has been rewarded numerous times, but not so sweetly as on Saturday when the son of Smart Strike belatedly registered his first graded stakes triumph in the $200,000 Fayette (G2) on a wet closing day of the Keeneland fall meet.
Tom’s d’Etat tracked in second behind the pace-setting Mr Freeze to the far turn, when Joel Rosario asked the 3-2 favorite in the field of nine for run. Taking a narrow lead three furlongs from home, Tom’s d’Etat finally wore out that rival in deep stretch and drew off to a 4 1/4-length tally.
Owned by Gayle Benson and trained by Al Stall Jr., Tom’s d’Etat returned $5 after completing nine furlongs over a sloppy strip in 1:49.17. Second choice Bal Harbour finished third, 3 1/4 lengths behind Mr Freeze.
This was the third stakes win by Tom’s d’Etat, who’s endured long injury-enforced spells throughout his career including a 15-month break from the summer of 2017 to the fall of 2018.
“We had to wait on him for various things over the years,” Stall said. “Nothing earth shattering, just little things here and there.”
Winner in four of seven starts prior to that long layoff, Tom’s d’Etat registered a fourth allowance win in his return to action last November, and then stepped up to take the $75,000 Tenacious at Fair Grounds in his stakes debut.
A disappointing ninth in the Pegasus World Cup (G1) next out, Tom’s d’Etat rebounded to finish second in the Alysheba (G2) and third in the Stephen Foster (G2) at Churchill Downs over the summer. Victorious in the restricted $100,000 Alydar at Saratoga in early August, the bay entered the Fayette off a fourth in the Woodward (G1).
Tom’s d’Etat will now point for a Grade 1 victory in the November 29 Clark H. (G1) at Churchill. An early 2020 season goal might include a trip to Riyadh for the inaugural $20 million Saudi Cup. His record now stands at 15-8-2-1, $886,892.
Bred in Kentucky by SF Bloodstock, Tom’s d’Etat is out of the stakes-winning Julia Tuttle, by Giant’s Causeway. He hails from the same female family as the Pacific Classic (G1)-winning Argentinean and noted sire Candy Ride.