Saturday’s stakes-packed program at Keeneland included the Thoroughbred Club of America S. (G2), a “Win & You’re In” for the Nov. 6 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint G1), and the Woodford S. (G2) for turf sprinters.
Thoroughbred Club of America (G2)
Lothenbach Stables’ Bell’s the One rallied to the lead in in midstretch and held gamely for a neck win in the $250,000 Thoroughbred Club of America. Corey Lanerie was up on the 11-10 favorite for Neil Pessin, and the classy five-year-old mare completed six furlongs in 1:08.63.
Rebounding from a half-length second at odds-on in the Sept. 18 Open Mind S. at Churchill Downs, Bell’s the One earned her third stakes triumph from her last four starts. The daughter of Majesticperfection captured the Honorable Miss (G2) at Saratoga and Roxelana S. at Churchill this summer.
Bell’s the One will stretch out to seven furlongs for the Filly & Mare Sprint at Del Mar, and her lone Grade 1 win, the 2020 Derby City Distaff (G1), came at the distance. The eight-time stakes heroine has now bankrolled $1,336,825 from a 21-10-4-2 record.
“She’s one of the best mares, if not the best horse, I’ve ever had,” Pessin said. “The only thing I regret with her is she never gets the respect she deserves.”
“She has the fastest turn of foot (of any horse) I’ve ever been on,” Lanerie said.
Bell’s the One rated last of six during the early stages of the TCA. Inthemidstofbiz established a solid pace in :21.57 and :44.80 on a short advantage, and Bell’s the One launched her bid nearing the completion of the far turn, accelerating boldly to strike the front with about a furlong remaining.
Club Car offered a bold late bid in the stretch to make it close in deep stretch, but Bell’s the Move dug in determinedly to prevail.
Estillo Talentoso closed well to be another head back in third, and Inthemidstofbiz, Frank’s Rockette, and Miss Mosaic rounded out the order.
Bred in Kentucky by Bret Jones, Bell’s the One sold for $155,000 as a yearling at the 2017 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July sale. She’s out of the Street Cry mare Street Mate.
Golden Pal turned back a challenge turning for home, reasserting his authority by surging clear, and rolled to a 2 1/4-length victory in the $200,000 Woodford. The three-year-old colt confirmed himself as a major player for the Nov. 6 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) at Del Mar.
John Velazquez picked up the mount on the Randall Lowe homebred, and Wesley Ward trains the ultra-quick son of Uncle Mo.
Favored at 1-2, Golden Pal broke on top and reeled off splits in :21.51 and :44.51, finishing 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:03.12 on the good turf.
Extravagant Kid closed belatedly for second, a half-length better than Country Final. Johnny Unleashed, Inflation, Firecrow, and Charcoal came next under the wire.
Winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2) at Keeneland last fall, Golden Pal opened his sophomore season with a convincing win in the Quick Call (G3) at Saratoga in mid-July. He weakened to seventh after setting the pace in the Aug. 20 Nunthorpe S. (G1) at York, coming back from a 50-day rest on Saturday following the overseas journey.
The Florida-bred improved his record to 7-4-2-0, $779,051.
Golden Pal is out of the talented turf sprinter Lady Shipman, an 11-time stakes winner and close second in the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint. She’s by Midshipman.