04/16/2011 4:04PM

Keeneland: Aikenite powers home to win Commonwealth Stakes

Coady Photography/Keeneland
Aikenite wins the Grade 2, $175,000 Commonwealth Stakes at Keeneland.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Aikenite was terrific in winning a seven-furlong allowance race last fall over the Polytrack at Keeneland, so it was something of déjà vu Saturday when the 4-year-old colt powered to his first stakes victory in the Grade 2, $175,000 Commonwealth Stakes at Keeneland.

With John Velazquez riding for Dogwood Stable and trainer Todd Pletcher, Aikenite laid back early before packing his usual stretch punch, running off from the race-long leader, Cool Bullet, to prevail by 2 1/4 lengths. The Florida-bred colt by Yes It’s True returned $4.60 as second choice in a field of five older horses after finishing seven furlongs in 1:22.35.

Cool Bullet, with Shaun Bridgmohan up, held second, another two lengths before Le Grand Cru. Wise Dan, the even-money favorite, made a brief middle move before flattening out to be fourth, while Taqarub was eased down the stretch to round out the order.

Aikenite was a rallying second in his only prior start this year, a March 5 allowance at Gulfstream.

“We’ve been looking forward to running Aikenite here for quite a while now,” Pletcher said.

Aikenite now has won 4 of 17 career starts, with the $108,500 winner’s share lifting his career bankroll to $487,460. The graded stakes win was the eighth all time at Keeneland for Dogwood, making the syndication pioneer the 17th owner in track history to earn a gold tray. The stable’s first graded stakes win here came in 1971.

Velazquez and Pletcher also combined a race earlier with Stratford Hill to win the Shakertown, the first of four stakes on the Blue Grass Stakes card.