The Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes was 8.5 furlongs at Churchill Downs. The race was pretty tight the whole way.
Everyone got a good start. Keepmeinmind held back at the start and got inside right off the bat. He didn’t battle for positioning early on like most of the field. Smiley Sobotka, Oncoming Train, and King Fury all went 3 wide at the beginning of the clubhouse turn with everyone else falling behind them in a tight pack. The 3 of them held their pace up until the 3/4 pole and the other horses started their kick for home.
The short stretch to the clubhouse turn had several horses in the 3 and 4 path. Ultimate Badger and Keepmeinmind both had wide trips on the outside. Sittin On Go had a good position just off the pace on the inside, being the 2 horse really helped out with that ideal position.
The backstretch was pretty packed. The pace seemed a little slow which lead to it being close. Keepmeinmind showed no desire to be near the lead. He just sat back and didn’t bother with jockeying for positions. The 3 that were in the lead pack at the top of the stretch lead through the 3/4 pole. They had about a length or 1 1⁄2 lengths up until the start of the turn.
The home stretch was exciting. Since the pace was a little slow, this made for a very exciting finish. Smiling Sobotka had a great finish. He was in the lead pack most of his run and then pulled away from the rest (minus winner). He was the 2nd best horse that day. He led almost all the way through the stretch. Keepmeinmind had a great kick going last to first in a very exciting fashion. Arabian Prince and Keepmeinmind had similar trips, going from back of the pack to the front on the home stretch.
What Stuck Out
I loved watching Keepmeinmind’s kick and Smiling Sobotka trying to hold off the pack were both exciting to watch and stuck out as horses to watch.