Hronis Racing’s Elektrum was up just in time to win Sunday’s G3 Rood and Riddle Dowager at Keeneland, gifted with the very well-timed ride of Drayden Van Dyke to nail Apple Betty by a head on the wire. The 5-year-old daughter of High Chaparral covered 12 furlongs over the firm turf in 2:33.08 for trainer John Sadler, earning just her second career graded stakes victory.
“(Trainer John Sadler, who was not at Keeneland for the race) just told me to come here and ride a good turf race,” said Van Dyke. “(He said) the (race’s 1½-mile) distance is not a problem (for her). Just ride a good turf race and get lucky and we did.”
Robillard was quick out of the gate on the backstretch, and though she went nearly four-wide through the far turn held a one-length advantage entering the stretch for the first time. Setting fractions of :25.36, :50.14 and :1:15.03, Robillard kept up her lead until turning for home the second time. Behind her, Rachel Wall, Apple Betty and Lots o’ Lex traded turns vying for the second position, with Daring Duchess tucked against the rail awaitng her turn. Elektrum waited along the rail in eighth early on, maintaining the advantage on the inside through the far turn a second time.
Turning for home, Robillard had a diminishing lead over Apple Betty and Freethinker, but Apple Betty quickly took command to pull away by nearly two lengths. Elektrum avoided the traffic crunch along the outside at the turn, slipping through the rail and angling out in mid-stretch. Van Dyke’s perfectly timed ride left the mare with just enough ground to explode down the final sixteenth of a mile, nailing Apple Betty on the wire to win by a head. Swear By It got up to be third from dead last, and Freethinker held on to be fourth.
Bred in Ireland by the Sweet Caroline Partnership, Elektrum was a $ 34,787 purchase at the Goffs November sale as a yearling. She began her career in France and Italy, winning a pair of allowance races before being purchased and transferred to the United States. Elektrum captured the G2 John C. Mabee Stakes last August in her fifth US start, and has continued to place prominently throughout the season in graded stakes across Southern California. The Dowager is her second graded win, improving her overall record to 5-6-5 from 24 starts, with earnings of over $ 530,000.
Elektrum is entered in the Keeneland November breeding stock sale next month.
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