Keen Ice (outside) breezing in the fog on Aug. 27 at Saratoga
Keen Ice, the only horse to defeat Triple Crown-winning champion American Pharoah during his record-setting season, returned from a layoff on Friday to finish third in an allowance race at Belmont Park. The 4-year-old son of Curlin showed late interest, rallying down the stretch in the one-turn mile event and galloping out well in front of the rest of the field.
“I was concerned that a mile might be too short for him, and there didn’t look like there was an abundance of speed in there,” trainer Todd Pletcher told the Daily Racing Form. “After watching the races unfold throughout the day, it looked like we were even more up against it; it seemed to be a pretty speed-favoring track. I think considering all that and the layoff and everything, he ran very well. I thought he galloped out great. I think it sets up well for his next one.”
That next race may well be the Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs on Nov. 25, Pletcher suggested, though the trainer has yet to confirm that plan with owner Jerry Crawford. At 1 1/8 miles around two turns, the race should set up better for the late-running style of Keen Ice.
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