By Alan Carasso
Keepmeinmind (Laoban) entered Saturday's GII Kentucky Jockey Club S. a maiden, but with board finishes in each of his three previous appearances, including two at Grade I level. The bay colt, last for the opening 6 1/2 furlongs, came with a barnstorming finish to graduate in style, earning 10 points towards next year's GI Kentucky Derby in the process.
Favored at 2-1, Keepmeinmind was clearly last into stride and was taken in hand by David Cohen, as Smiley Sobotka (Brody's Cause) set the pace at the fence from Oncoming Train (Mineshaft) and King Fury (Curlin), who improved three wide into the backstretch. Still at the tail of the field, though not far off of the leaders through the middle furlongs, Keepmeinmind was guided down right onto the rail for the run around the far turn and was quietly handled as they approached the stretch. Cohen got after his mount in earnest at the quarter pole, split horses, produced Keepmeinmind on the grandstand side and raced over the top of long-time leader Smiley Sobotka for a stylish 3/4-length victory. Arabian Prince (Mshawish) made mild progress from the latter third of the field to round out the trifecta. The final time was 0.54 second slower against the clock than the GII Golden Rod S. two races earlier.
A debut second to Arabian Prince in a one-mile maiden rained onto the main track here Sept. 2, Keepmeinmind outran odds of 52-1 to be second to Essential Quality (Tapit) in the GI Claiborne Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland Oct. 3 and bridged most of a 17-length deficit in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile, coming from last to finish two lengths' third behind Essential Quality.
Keepmeinmind is the third stakes winner and joins beaten GII Golden Rod S. favorite Simply Ravishing as graded winners for their first-crop sire (by Uncle Mo). Both he and Golden Rod winner Travel Column are out of mares by GI Belmont S. hero Victory Gallop who were 17 and 14 years of age, respectively, when foaling their produce. Keepmeinmind is out of a half-sister to MSW & GISP Mellow Fellow (Belek) and SW & MGSP Zawzooth (Unbridled's Song) and has a yearling half-brother by Honor Code and a weanling full-brother. Inclination was most recently bred to Practical Joke.
Saturday, Churchill Downs
KENTUCKY JOCKEY CLUB S.-GII, $200,000, Churchill Downs, 11-28, 2yo, 1 1/16m, 1:44.52, ft.
1–KEEPMEINMIND, 122, c, 2, by Laoban
1st Dam: Inclination, by Victory Gallop
2nd Dam: Lady Blockbuster, by Silent Screen
3rd Dam: Dunvegan Dancer, by Lt. Stevens
1ST BLACK-TYPE WIN, 1ST GRADED-STAKES WIN. O-Cypress
Creek LLC & Arnold Bennewith; B-Southern Equine Stables, LLC
(KY); T-Robertino Diodoro; J-David Cohen. $119,040. Lifetime
Record: MGISP, 4-1-2-1, $394,320. *1/2 to In Jack's Memory
(Malibu Moon), GSP, $100,553. **10th winner and third
stakes winner for freshman sire (by Uncle Mo). Werk Nick
Rating: A++. Click for eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Smiley Sobotka, 122, c, 2, Brody's Cause–Dance
Thewayyouare, by Mineshaft. ($185,000 Ylg '19 FTSAUG).
O-Albaugh Family Stables LLC; B-Track West Racing Inc. (ON);
T-Dale L. Romans. $38,400.
3–Arabian Prince, 122, c, 2, Mshawish–Jolene, by Malibu
Moon. ($160,000 Wlg '18 KEENOV; $235,000 Ylg '19 FTSAUG).
O-West Point Thoroughbreds & William Sandbrook; B-M.
Taylor, J. Taylor, BGT LLC, G. E. Saufley & Louis Brooks Ranch
LP (KY); T-Dallas Stewart. $19,200.
Margins: 3/4, 1 3/4, 2. Odds: 2.00, 3.50, 13.70.
Also Ran: Swill, King Fury, Sittin On Go, Oncoming Train, Ultimate Badger, Inspector Frost. Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.