Justify's Buchu Stays Unbeaten at Keeneland with Appalachian Win

Buchu | Coady/Renee Torbit

Rigney Racing homebred Buchu (f, 3, Justify–Flowering Peach {Ire}, by Galileo {Ire}), winner of the GII Jessamine S. over this course last year at two, made her 3-year-old debut a winning one and kept her Keeneland record perfect with a late-closing score in the $400,000 GII Appalachian S. Saturday. California shipper Mo Fox Givin (Mo Town) and last-out GIII Florida Oaks third Dancing N Dixie (Neolithic) chased her home in second and third, respectively.

Buchu broke smoothly from the nine hole and quickly settled into a midpack spot on the outside, rating throughout while in the clear as Poolside With Slim (Ire) (Churchill {Ire}) set fractions of :22.88 and :47.25 and favorite Pounce (Lookin At Lucky) tracked from third. Midway on the turn, Buchu unfurled a sharp turn of foot as she circled the field while five wide and hit the front in a no-nonsense effort despite bobbling in the last sixteenth. Mo Fox Givin and Dancing N Dixie, both longshots who were 11th and 12th at the first call, got within a half-length and a neck, respectively, but couldn't catch the winner. The final time for the one mile was 1:36.36.

“We came over here knowing she had run well,” said winning trainer Phil Bauer. “But this was a pretty good test and you don't expect those efforts. I was a little worried maybe she hit the front too early, but she's game and hung on. So it's a pretty special feeling to be out here for the second time [after winning the Jessamine last year]. You come here as a kid and dream about it, and it's pretty surreal.”

Buchu had an exceptional fall last year as a juvenile. After initial tries at Ellis Park and Saratoga, she broke her maiden by daylight in her second try on the lawn and first time at Churchill. A powerful performance in the Jessamine followed before an off-the-board finish in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. Freshened since that effort, she has worked consistently during the last month at Churchill, including a bullet four furlongs in :48 1/5 (1/20) over the training track Mar. 22 and a :47 1/5 half (4/30) Mar. 29 on the main track.

Pedigree Notes:

Hailing from the same family as MGISW Medaglia d'Oro, dam Flowering Peach (Ire) is out of MGSW Naples Bay (Giant's Causeway), a half-sister to that stellar Darley sire and who herself brought $3.6 million to the bid of M. V. Magnier at the 2014 Keeneland November sale. Flowering Peach is a full-sister to French GSW First Minister (Ire) and has producded two foals following Buchu: a now-yearling colt by Uncle Mo and a Golden Pal filly born Feb. 10. Buchu is one of 323 stakes winners out of a daughter of Galileo (Ire).

The Appalachian winner is also one of 18 graded winners and 26 black-type winners worldwide for 2018 Horse of the Year Justify, who stands at Coolmore America and was the leading second-crop sire of 2023.

 

Saturday, Keeneland
APPALACHIAN S. PRESENTED BY JAPAN RACING ASSOCIATION-GII, $386,888, Keeneland, 4-6, 3yo, f, 1mT, 1:36.36, gd.
1–BUCHU, 120, f, 3, by Justify
           1st Dam: Flowering Peach (Ire), by Galileo (Ire)
           2nd Dam: Naples Bay, by Giant's Causeway
           3rd Dam: Cappucino Bay, by Bailjumper
($275,000 RNA Ylg '22 KEESEP). O/B-Rigney Racing, LLC (KY); T-Philip A. Bauer; J-Martin Garcia. $226,300. Lifetime Record: 7-3-0-2, $541,255. Werk Nick Rating: A+++. *Triple Plus*. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree or free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Mo Fox Givin, 118, f, 3, Mo Town–Givine (Fr), by Blackdoun (Fr). 1ST GRADED BLACK TYPE. ($2,000 Ylg '22 FTKOCT). O-Woo Pig Stables; B-Liberty Road Stables (KY); T-Leonard Powell. $73,000.
3–Dancing N Dixie, 118, f, 3, Neolithic–Foolhearted Woman, by Uncaptured. ($35,000 2yo '23 OBSOPN). O-Quintessential Racing Florida LLC, Rocky Top Stable (Ventura) and LEMB Stables; B-Freddie Hyatt (FL); T-Mark E. Casse. $27,375.
Margins: HF, NK, 3. Odds: 6.52, 58.91, 10.77.
Also Ran: Simply in Front, Poolside With Slim (Ire), Austere, Living Magic, Grecian Goddess, Kairyu (Ire), Crown Imperial, Pounce, Dozen Diamonds.
Click for the Equibase.com chart or the TJCIS.com PPs. VIDEO, sponsored by FanDuel TV.

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