GII – Nijinsky Stakes
$175.000 Graded Stake 1 1/4 Miles on Turf for Three & Up
A big field of ten loaded in the gate on Sunday afternoon at WO to compete for the $175.000 in purse money and GII Nijinsky Stakes. The 3/1 post time favorite was Admirals Aces who looked like the obvious choice based on recent competition. In the end youth won out as the only three year old The Force Awakens came away with the title.
Early in the race Kenny Wisconsin, The Land and The Force Awakens set the early pace as they ran down the WO backstretch. A few lengths off them was Mean Street and then a few length off him was the rest of the field in a tightly packed group.
They would stay in this order all the way down the backstretch and into the final turn. As they hit that turn Mean Street began to be urged to chase down that lead group and started to close in on them. He looked to have all the momentum and was headed for the lead until the hit the top of the stretch and The Force Awakens was able to separate himself from the lead pack. At that point Kenny Wisconsin gave way and would eventually fall to fourth where he finished.
The Land was a game second, never leaving the hip of The Force Awakens and Mean Street couldn’t quite catch the top two, finishing third.
Finishing a disappointing fifth was Admirals Aces, Steel Kelp in sixth and Bama Blue Streak finishing seventh. Rounding out the field was Stuck Here, Playmaker and Gestut Ammerland.
Congratulations to the stable of Diablo Diablo and the whole team behind The Force Awakens!