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Bernardini Filly Prevails at Keeneland
Updated - 10/23/2014
4th at KEE Msw ($56k)  [1 1/16m] Winner: Gap Year, f, 2 by Bernardini
She made the chalk players sweat it out a fair bit, but Godolphin’s Gap Year (f, 2, Bernardini--Dubai Escapade, by Awesome Again) dropped her nose on the wire to best an unlucky Eskenformoney (Eskendereya) in Thursday’s fourth race maiden at Keeneland. The homebred missed the break in her Aug. 22 debut going six panels over a muddy main track at Saratoga, but finished with interest to finish third, beaten a nose and a head by subsequent GII Matron S. one-two finishers Paulassilverlining (Ghostzapper) and Skipalute (Midnight Lute). She was favored at a little more than 2-1 for the Oct. 3 GI Alcibiades S., sponsored by her owner, but endured a rough trip and failed to make any late impact, finishing a midpack seventh. Sent off the 4-5 chalk back in against non-winners, Gap Year tugged at Julien Leparoux through the opening half-mile as she box-seated the field to the far turn. Still apparently sitting on a ton of horse nearing the stretch, Leparoux allowed Eskenformoney first run and needed all of the final sixteenth of a mile to eke out the victory, then galloped out with good energy after covering 32 fewer feet than the runner-up, according to Trakus. The winner is out of Dubai Escapade, the half-sister to GI Ashland S. victress Madcap Escapade (Hennessy), who sold for just $75,000 as a KEESEP yearling before blossoming into a $2-million purchase out of the 2004 Barretts March sale, at the time a world-record price for a juvenile filly sold at auction. Dubai Escapade won the 2006 GII Madison S. at Keeneland and the GI Ballerina Breeders’ Cup at Saratoga later that summer. Gap Year is bred on the same cross responsible for MGISW To Honor and Serve. Lifetime Record: 3-1-0-1. O-Godolphin Racing Lessee. B-Darley (KY). T-Kiaran McLaughlin.
Medaglia d’Oro’s Bay of Plenty Dominates Salty Belmont Allowance
Updated - 10/11/2014
8th at BEL Alw/OC ($80K)  [1m] Winner: Bay of Plenty, c, 3 by Medaglia d'Oro
Bay of Plenty
© NYRA/Coglianese
8th-BEL, $80,000, Alw, Opt. Clm. ($62,500), NW2$X, 3yo/up, 1m, 1:36 4/5, ft.
BAY OF PLENTY (c, 3, Medaglia d'Oro--Kotuku {GB}, by A.P. Indy) was second on debut sprinting at Gulfstream Jan. 1 before finishing a close fourth behind last Saturday’s GIII Hill Prince S. winner Ring Weekend (Tapit) when stretched out in Hallandale Feb. 8. He broke through with an authoritative 7 1/4-length romp at the Big A Mar. 22, and earned "TDN Rising Star" status when he aired by 9 1/4 lengths over this track and trip May 7, good for a 97 Beyer Speed Figure. Unseen since, the dark bay was crushed in the wagering down to 3-5 and did not disappoint. Sharing pacesetting duties with $1.05-million KEESEP yearling Mosler (War Front) through splits of :23.67, :46.92 and 1:11.57, the Sheikh Mohammed homebred was going very well at the top of the lane, and cantered home under stout Irad Ortiz restraint to report home 2 3/4 lengths clear of Mosler. GIII Sam F. Davis winner Vinceremos (Pioneerof the Nile), last seen finishing far back in the GI Kentucky Derby, completed the trifecta. The winner is a half to Fortify (Distorted Humor), GISP, $323,407. He hails from the family of Grade I/Group 1 winners Flagbird (Nureyev), Little Belle (A.P. Indy), Runup the Colors (A.P. Indy), Prospectors Delite (Mr. Prospector), Mineshaft (A.P. Indy), Tomisue’s Delight (A.P. Indy), et al. Lifetime Record: 5-3-1-0, $143,200.Click for the brisnet.com chart or VIDEO.
O-Godolphin Racing LLC. B-Darley (KY). T-Kiaran P McLaughlin.
Imperia Rallies for Pilgrim Win
Updated - 9/29/2014
9th at BLP GIII Pilgrim S. ($200,000)  [1 1/16m (T)] Winner: Imperia, c, 2 by Medaglia d'Oro
Imperia
© A Coglianese
Imperia missed by just a neck when second behind Face the Music (Stormy Atlantic) in his 1 1/16-mile debut over the Saratoga lawn Aug. 23. Adding Lasix for this second start, the dark bay colt was unhurried out of the gate and let the pacesetters go as he settled into midpack along the hedge. Longshot Vision Perfect (Pollard’s Vision) set the pace through fractions of :25.06 and :48.98. Imperia was angled out to the center of the course at the top of the lane and inhaled the pacesetter in the final 50 yards to break his maiden going away. Winning trainer Kiaran McLaughlin admitted it had been a while since he had saddled a maiden for a graded stakes. “We’ve only [run a maiden in a graded stakes] one other time that I can remember in the last 10 years, and it was Soldat.” Soldat broke his maiden in his third start in the 2010 GIII With Anticipation S. before running second in that year’s GIII Pilgrim S. and GII Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. He returned the following year to win the GII Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth S. “You have to get graded earnings to get into the Breeders' Cup,” McLaughlin explained. “We really liked him and thought, 'Why run him back in a maiden race? We can always break our maiden. Let’s run in a stakes.’ He had bled a little in his first start, so we signed him up for Lasix.” Javier Castellano, substituting for the injured Rajiv Maragh, added, “I got lucky today with the way everything unfolded. I didn't have a horse in the race, and Kiaran asked me to ride him this morning. I had a beautiful trip. He broke well, much better than last time. He put me in good position early, and I got to save all the ground. I had the best horse in the race, I just had to go around the horses and he took off; I like the way he did it at the top of the stretch. For a young horse, he has a very mature mind.”
Imperia is a son of Godolphin’s multiple Grade I winner Cocoa Beach (Chi) (Doneraile Court), who captured the 2008 GI Beldame S. and GI Matriarch S. and was second behind Zenyatta in that year’s GI Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic. The 10-year-old mare produced fillies by Street Cry (Ire) in 2013 and 2014. She was bred to Medaglia d’Oro this spring.

Sunday, Belmont Park
PILGRIM S.-GIII, $200,000, BEL, 9-28, 2yo, 1 1/16mT, 1:41 1/5, fm.
1--#@IMPERIA, 116, c, 2, by Medaglia d'Oro
     1st Dam: Cocoa Beach (Chi) (Horse of the Year & Ch. 2yo Filly-Chi, MGISW-US, MGSW-Chi, MSW & 
     GSP-UAE, $1,714,934), by Doneraile Court
     2nd Dam: Visionera (Chi), by Edgy Diplomat
     3rd Dam: Spray (Chi), by Roy

O-Godolphin Racing LLC; B-Darley (KY); T-Kiaran P
McLaughlin; J-Javier Castellano. $120,000. Lifetime
Record: 2-1-1-0, $139,600. Werk Nick Rating: A.
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