LEXINGTON, KY (April 4, 2015) – WinStar Farm and Stonestreet Stables’ Carpe Diem took command in upper stretch and cruised to a three-length victory over Danzig Moon in the 91st running of the $1 million Toyota Blue Grass (G1) before a crowd of 26,357 on Saturday.
Carpe Diem became the third horse to complete a sweep of the Breeders’ Futurity as a 2-year-old and the following spring’s Blue Grass, joining Round Table (1956-1957) and Dullahan
Trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by John Velazquez, Carpe Diem covered 1 1/8 miles on a fast track in 1:49.77.
The victory for Pletcher was his third in the race, tying him with Ben Jones, Woody Stephens, LeRoy Jolley and Nick Zito for the most triumphs in the race. Pletcher’s other wins came with Bandini in 2005 and Monba in 2008.
It was the second Toyota Blue Grass victory for Velazquez, who rode Bandini for Pletcher in 2005.
The victory was worth $600,000 and also awarded Carpe Diem 100 points toward the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) and a spot in the starting gate for the Run for the
Roses May 2 at Churchill Downs. Carpe Diem has accumulated 164 points.
Danzig Moon picked up 40 points for second to boost his total to 45; Ocho Ocho Ocho picked up 20 for third to hike his total to 30 and Frammento doubled his total to 20 by adding 10 points for fourth. The top 20 point earners that pass the entry box earn a spot in the Kentucky Derby starting gate.
Ocho Ocho Ocho set the pace through fractions of :24.15, :48.05 and 1:12.18 with Carpe Diem a constant presence to his outside. At the head of the lane, Carpe Diem pushed past Ocho Ocho Ocho and quickly opened a daylight advantage and had more than enough to maintain a comfortable edge over Danzig Moon who rallied for second.
A Keeneland Sales graduate, Carpe Diem is a Kentucky-bred son of Giant’s Causeway out of the Unbridled’s Song mare Rebridled Dreams. Now a winner of four of five starts to go with a runner-up finish in the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), Carpe Diem has earnings of $1,519,800.
Carpe Diem returned $2.80, $2.40, $2.10. Danzig Moon, ridden by Julien Leparoux, returned $7.80 and $5 and finished 2 ½ lengths in front of Ocho Ocho Ocho, who paid $3.20 to show under Santiago Gonzalez.
Frammento finished another 1¾ lengths back in fourth and was followed in order by Classy Class, Gorgeous Bird, Unrivaled and Pepper Roani.
Keeneland will be closed Easter Sunday. Racing will resume Wednesday with first post time at 1:05 p.m. ET for the nine-race program.
After today’s second race, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky President Wil James and Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason presented a check for $10,000 to Horses and Hope representatives Donna Ward and Barbara Thomason. Ward and Barbara Thomason are members of Pink Stable, a group of women involved in Kentucky’s equine industry who help guide the direction of Horses and Hope
An initiative of Kentucky First Lady Jane Beshear and the Kentucky Cancer Program (KCP), Horses and Hope works with the state’s equine industry to identify opportunities to provide breast cancer awareness, education, early detection through screening and treatment referral and raise funds to sustain programs.
Press Release Courtesy of Keeneland.
Photo by Eclipse Sportswire