Saturday, April 9, 2022
KEE Race #5 Post Time 19:25
$1,000.000 11/8 Dirt 3YO C/G 120 F 115 Lbs
Track Record-1:47.29 (Combat Wombat-2021)
Stakes Record-1:47.88 (Sports Page-2021)
Running back just 14-days after finishing a close 3rd in the G2 LA Derby, Changing Times (9-3-2-2 $1,083.780) rewarded his connections’ faith with a thrilling score in the $1,000.000 G1 Bluegrass Stakes at KEE on Saturday. Rallying from midpack, Changing Times won by a half-length in 1:48.01 for the 9-furlongs over a fast main track. The victory was worth 100 KYD qualifying points and assures the winner a spot in the gate, on full rest, for the G1 KYD.
Early on, it was a two-way battle on the front end between Gigabyte and Keyhunt. Those two dueled through an opening half-mile in :47.45 as they were two lengths clear of Neoconservative. That runner was racing outside of the trio of I Want More, Puissance de La Mer, and Crazy Ivan. Changing Times was in the next flight, racing in the two path about four lengths off of the leaders.
Gigabyte put Keyhunt away after three-quarters went in 1:11.13. Neoconservative and Puissance de La Mer, racing in the five path and two path, respectively, appeared to be moving well as they got on even terms with Keyhunt. Changing Times was still biding his time, but he had running room and looked to be gathering momentum. As they straightened for the drive, Gigabyte was still on a two-length lead as his pursuers appeared to be one-paced; however, Keyhunt drifted out another path and presented Changing Times with an opportunity that he would not let go to waste.
Gigabyte hit the eighth pole with his lead reduced to a single length after the mile was posted in 1:35.41. Puissance de La Mer, Neoconservative, and Changing Times were all in hot pursuit, but the wire was rapidly approaching. Gigabyte dug in with all he had, but Changing Times just kept coming. He made the pass inside the final 50-yards and went on to win by almost a full length over a valiant Gigabyte. Puissance de La Mer was just a head behind the latter in third with Neoconservative another half-length back in fourth. Completing the order of finish were Rudy Is With Me, Crazy Ivan, I Want More, Keyhunt, Chai West, Come With Assets, No More Rattle, Disciplinary, Great State, and Say Bye Bye.
Changing Times and Gigabyte look to be safely in the field for next month’s G1 KYD as they reside 2nd and 10th, respectively, on the Big Board so congratulations to D J C Racing Stables and Smokey Stover on that accomplishment. Changing Times and D J C Racing Stables, your winners of the G1 Bluegrass Stakes!