Bite The Bullet Narrowly Wins The KYO

KY Oaks (Grade 1)- $1,250.000 Purse
CD- For Fillies Three Years Old
One Mile and One Eighth on the Dirt
May 1, 2020

Mb Stables has won just about every major race that you can think of within our virtual world, but up until Friday, the KYO was not one of them. Last season, it seemed as though he would have one of the top threats to win this race, but when that one did not run as well as a three year old as he would have liked, he could still relax. With the strong overall depth of his stable, he could have more waiting in the wings, and that showed with the horses that he brought to this race. The 2020 KYO would run on a fast track for the first time in four years, allowing us to see the best in the division shine in the biggest spotlight. Most of the perceived top contenders for the race ran well on Friday, and in a three way photo for the win, our newest KYO champion would emerge. That filly is Bite The Bullet, who was coming into the race off a win in the Ashland and now makes it two in a row. At last, Mb Stables can cross off the KYO from the ever decreasing list of major stakes in which he has not won. Congratulations on the victory! D Davis is the winning rider, and does so for the first time. The time of the race was 1:48.39, tying the 2015 race for the second quickest in the race’s history. Let’s take a look at it!

(½ Mile- :46.44)- Tell It Like It Is, from Nakamura Stables is the quickest out of the gate and jumps to a length lead over the second place The Belle Tolls, from Allinthegate. These two show the way into the opening turn, and it seems as though they are going to be the quickest two after a half a mile. However, a third horse would join them, and that would be Drink Me Pretty, from Estero Farms. She did not initially break sharply, but pushed forward in the opening turn, and would become the second place horse at this point doing so while running to the outside of The Belle Tolls in the third lane. Tell It Like It Is was able to maintain her length advantage over these rivals at this time. Meanwhile, the eventual winner, Mb Stables’ Bite The Bullet was able to stay tucked in on the rail, not worrying about the front three, but in a good and unhindered position away from the other horses in the field, two lengths back. It would be another length to the fifth place Cp Great Moon Queen, out of Team 7 Illusions, and Precise Performance, from Mb Stables. Next came Odd Trek, and the D J C Racing Stables filly was another who pushed forward in the turn after not charging out of the gate, but did settle into a midpack position. Behind her, we had a four wide group, which from inside to outside, consisted of Real Nice (Allinthegate), Relax (Mb Stables), Sunlite (Rampage Stable), and Lil Baby Bomber (Aer Stables). Next was the surprising post time favorite, Mercy (Smokey Stover), then Mad Mistress (Jokerjoes) and Winegum Wishes (Crocker Ggs). Seven and a half lengths separate them from the leader.

(3/4 Mile- 1:10.11)- The field moves down the backstretch and into the turn in an uneventful manner, and that is just fine for Bite The Bullet who is continuing to ride the rail just a length and a half from the race leader. That would still be Tell It Like It Is, who is looking formidable on the front end. Drink Me Pretty Stays in the third lane, a length back, and she still has The Belle Tolls right behind her. Bite The Bullet has pulled up to the inside of The Belle Tolls midway into the turn. Looking further back, Cp Great Moon Queen and Precise Performance continued to run together, and now Odd Trek was pulling up to their outside. They were about three lengths from the lead. Behind them, that same group of four that were running together before were still doing so, and not pushing forward. The trailers were also not yet making a move.

(Top Of Stretch, 1.5F To Go)- The front runners are still in very good shape throughout the turn, and continuing into the top of the stretch. Tell It Like It Is still is the race leader, and hoping to hang on, but the pressure is starting to pick up behind her. Bite The Bullet has moved off the rail in order to make the potential pass for the lead, and The Belle Tolls was courteous to allow this to happen and also moved down a lane. Drink Me Pretty continued to run well, but was now in a four wide position. They were looking to make their run for their win, but Tell It Like It Is was not looking like she’d go down without a fight. Cp Great Moon Queen moved down into a potential five wide move if she had the legs underneath her to make it work and Odd Trek was another lane over. They were three lengths out, as was Precise Performance, but she was not having the same trip fortunes that her stablemate was. Beginning to emerge into the picture would be Real Nice with some room on the rail. Both Relax and Sunlite were looking as though they would get boxed in here. Lil Baby Bomber was still on the outside, but not advancing; and at the back none of Mercy, Mad Mistress, or Winegum Wishes were getting involved.

(Finish- 1:48.39)- In the stretch, we begin to see the field tightening up, as we probably expected would happen. However, with the horses at the front all still in good form, things were going to be very difficult for those looking to come from behind, and in the end, the race is settled between those who had been at the front most of the way. With half a furlong to go, Bite The Bullet had pulled even with Tell It Like It Is, but Drink Me Pretty was still running as strong as just as much of a threat. The Belle Tolls was staying right there, too. Approaching the wire, we all knew a photo finish was in the making and three of them seemed to hit the line together. After checking out the photo, the long wait for Mb Stables and winning this race was over. Finally, he could call himself a KYO winner as Bite The Bullet narrowly defeats both Drink Me Pretty and Tell It Like It Is. Heart breaking for the second and third place trainers, because both Estero Farms and Nakamura Stables have yet to win this race, too. The Belle Tolls was fourth and within a length, and Precise Performance had a lane become available late that she did the best she could with, and runs fifth. Sixth is Real Nice by a head over Sunlite and Odd Trek. Rounding out the order it’s Relax, Cp Great Moon Queen, Mad Mistress, Mercy, Lil Baby Bomber, and Winegum Wishes.

About The Winner- Bite The Bullet, trained by Mb Stables and ridden to victory by D Davis, is a three year old filly by Spring Lover and is out of Laugher. She was bred in New York as a yearling by Mb Stables, the only trainer for which she has ever known. Congratulations to the connections! The win is her fifth in 10 starts, her fourth stake win, and third graded win. Her career earnings are now $1,451.800.

##   Horse Name Owner Name Jockey Odds   Fin Time SRF 
  Bite The Bullet Mb Stables Davis D 7.90   1no 1:48.39  
  Tell It Like It Is Nakamura Stables Gryder A T 8.55   2no 1:48.41  
  Drink Me Pretty Estero Farms Hernandez R M 7.60   31/2 1:48.42  
  The Belle Tolls Allinthegate Velazquez J R 8.55   4hd 1:48.55  
  Precise Performance Mb Stables Bejarano R 8.85   5nk 1:48.58  
  Real Nice Allinthegate Desormeaux K J 22.25   61/4 1:48.63  
  Sunlite Rampage Stable Rosario J 17.50   7no 1:48.72  
  Odd Trek D J C Racing Stables Jaramillo E 14.80   81/4 1:48.73  
  Relax Mb Stables Beschizza A 7.75   9nk 1:48.82  
  Cp Great Moon Queen Team 7 Illusions Lopez P 106.90   10nk 1:48.88  
  Mad Mistress Jokerjoes Castellano J J 23.45   111/2 1:48.95  
  Mercy Smokey Stover Gaffalione T 5.00   12nk 1:49.05  
  Lil Baby Bomber Aer Stables Sanchez M J 16.10   133/4 1:49.12  
  Winegum Wishes Crocker Ggs Bridgmohan S X 10.20   14 1:49.30  

Track: Fast

Time: :462  1:10   1:351  1:481

$2 Mutuel Prices:

1 – Bite The Bullet 17.80 8.10 5.80
11 – Tell It Like It Is   8.90 5.50
8 – Drink Me Pretty     4.90

$1 Exacta: 1 – 11 Paid 82.00

$1 Trifecta: 1 – 11 – 8 Paid 838.50

Scratched: Dorilinda, Interpoint

— NS

Categories: Grade I, STAKES ARTICLES

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