In the Giant’s Causeway, Triple Chelsea took advantage of a duel between Lady Aurelia and Morticia and rushed past in deep stretch to post a 1½-length victory over Lady Aurelia with Morticia finishing another length back in third.
Trained by Joe Sharp and ridden by Adam Beschizza, Triple Chelsea covered the 5½ furlongs over a turf course labeled firm in 1:02.40. It was the first Keeneland stakes victory for both Sharp and Beschizza.
Morticia wrested the early lead away from Brave Daisey, who led the field through an opening quarter-mile in :22.26 with Lady Aurelia tracking in third and Triple Chelsea racing fifth and in the clear.
On the far turn, Lady Aurelia hooked up with Morticia, and the two raced as a team through a half-mile in :44.98 and 5 furlongs in :56.45 with Triple Chelsea running third on the outside before surging by late to claim the victory.
The victory was worth $60,000 and increased her earnings to $368,789 with a record of 20-8-2-6. Triple Chelsea is a 5-year-old daughter of Hat Trick (JPN) out of the Ocean of Wisdom mare Oceane Music (FR).
Triple Chelesa, who was fourth in this race last year, returned $18.60, $5.20 and $3. Lady Aurelia, ridden by John Velazquez, returned $2.60 and $2.10 with Morticia paying $2.40 to show under Jose Lezcano.
It was another 1¼ lengths back to Excessivespending, who was followed in order by Jennifer Lynnette, Storm the Hill, There’syourtrouble, Lady to the Max and Brave Daisey.
Adam Beschizza (who scored his first Keeneland stakes victory on Triple Chelsea)
“The race panned out beautifully. She’s definitely a filly that likes to be in a nice stalking position and we were following the right horses into the final eighth. It was just a question of (rousing) her.”
Joe Sharp (winning trainer who recorded his first Keeneland stakes victory)
On his decision to claim Triple Chelsea for $62,500 last September at Kentucky Downs
“I watched her replays and she just looked like a game filly that was very versatile. She’s just blossomed since we got her. She was in great condition when we got her and just found her niche. Adam learned her timing, and knew she needed to sit off it (the pace) a little bit and today everything just worked out.
“(She) won two of four at the Fair Grounds. At this time of year, options for turf sprinting fillies are a little limited. I felt she was in as good form as she’s ever been. I wasn’t excited to see Lady Aurelia in the entries, but it worked out.”
John Velazquez (rider of runner-up, 7-10 favorite and defending champion Lady Aurelia)
“She was a little aggressive the first part of the race and I think that cost her the race. And then she got a little flat the last sixteenth of a mile.”
Wesley Ward (trainer of Lady Aurelia)
“She ran a good race, and anytime you’re coming off a layoff, you’re always a little vulnerable. Last year in this race she was a little more relaxed. Johnny (Velazquez) said that the rider on the longshot (Rogelio Miranda on Brave Daisey) was chirping to his horse and hustling his filly along and that kind of kept Lady Aurelia from being as relaxed as she was last year. I take nothing away from the winner. She beat us on the square. (Lady Aurelia) hadn’t had a race and now she has so she should be ready.”
On whether the plan remains to return Lady Aurelia to Royal Ascot in England
“That’s what we’re here for.”
Jose Lezcano (rider of third-place finisher Morticia)
“(Morticia) broke good. She was right there, but the pace was fast. The other filly (Lady Aurelia), the front-runner ran hard. (She) just needs another race at this level.”
Robby Albarado (rider of fourth-place finisher Excessivespending)
"I had a beautiful trip, a great trip. I saved some ground, tried to get out toward the front. She (Excessivespending) ran great – I just got outrun today.”
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