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.