Jed Cohen’s Itsinthepost burst away from the field at the head of the lane in Saturday’s G2 Dixiana Elkhorn Stakes at Keeneland, holding off the late-closing Charming Kitten by about a length at the wire. The 5-year-old son of American Post, ridden by Tyler Baze, covered 12 furlongs over the yielding turf course in 2:31.22 for trainer Jeff Mullins.
“It’s been my dream to win a race at Keeneland,” Baze said. “This horse has been just a phenomenal horse, especially the last year. He gives it everything. Once I got him to the outside, it was just a matter of being patient because this stretch is a long stretch.”
Interpol broke very sharply from his inside post position, but was quickly joined by Chocolate Ride from the far outside post. Chocolate Ride swept around the far turn for the first time to take over the lead by a length, marking early fractions of :25.17 and :50.50. He was tracked by Bigger Picture and Itsinthepost side-by-side, then the pair of Bullards Alley and Interpol in front of Danish Dynaformer and Red Rifle.
After three-quarters in 1:15.18, Bigger Picture began to up the pressure on Chocolate Ride. Baze and Itsinthepost went with that pair three-wide, and the trio were neck-and-neck at the five-sixteenths pole. Chocolate Ride dropped back, and it was all Itsinthepost and Bigger Picture turning for home. Itsinthepost showed a burst of speed at the head of the lane that put him 1 1/2 lengths in front of the field, and all Baze had to do was keep him focused through the wire.
“It seems like the further he goes the better he gets,” said Mullins after the race.
Charming Kitten posed a late threat from well back of the early pacesetters, but could do no better than a length behind the winning Itsinthepost. Bigger Picture had to settle for third, and Danish Dynaformer got up for fourth.
Bred in France by Julien Leaunes, Itsinthepost began his career overseas but could not break his maiden until his fifth start. As he has grown older, the gelding has progressed from a relatively consistent allowance horse to a very consistent graded stakes-caliber turf router; the Elkhorn is his second graded stakes win in as many months, and in his two previous graded tries Itsinthepost finished second. Overall, he boasts a record of 5-6-5 from 25 starts, with earnings of over $ 500,000.
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