04/13/2013 4:02PM

Keeneland: Havelock noses out Something Extra in Shakertown

Coady Photography
Havelock, closest to the hedge with Garrett Gomez aboard, outfights favored Something Extra to win the Grade 3 Shakertown.

There may have been more talent-laden runnings of the Shakertown at Keeneland, but Saturday’s 17th renewal undoubtedly ranks among the most exciting.

In a blanket finish in which the top five finishers were separated by a half-length at the wire, Havelock prevailed by a nose over 2-1 favorite Something Extra in the Grade 3, $100,000 Shakertown on the Blue Grass Stakes undercard.

The close nature of the finish may have been in part caused by the pace – blistering fractions of 21.75 seconds and 44.89 – that left the front-runners fatigued and the late runners gaining rapidly in the stretch.

It was the latter point in the race that the race was decided, when Garrett Gomez on Havelock made a decisive move to dive toward the inside on the Keeneland turf course, finding enough room that allowed his mount to outfinish fellow closer Something Extra, under Julien Leparoux.

“Middle of the turn I started to think about work my way out, and I ended up behind Julien,” said Gomez. “Julien looked like he couldn’t quite make up his mind where he wanted to go either. I went ahead and committed myself to the inside and he ended up right next to me and we finished up well together.”

Havelock, in making his first start of the year, recorded his third victory from five starts on the Keeneland grass. He raced 5 ½ furlongs on a firm turf course in 1:03.02, and paid $18.60.

Perfect Officer, the 3-1 second wagering choice and the defending champion, ended up a head behind Something Extra in third while taking the wide route down the stretch. Finishing a neck farther behind was longshot Canuletmedowneasy and pacesetter Next Question.

Trainer Darrin Miller, who trains Havelock for owner/trainer Silverton Hill Farm of Bonnie and Tommy Hamilton, was quick to credit to Gomez.

“I want to say that was all him,” he said. “He made every decision the right decision. [Havelock] is a great horse. He’s a lot of fun. He always shows up, but Garrett did a fantastic job.”

Disappointing yet again was Regally Ready, the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint winner, who went winless in five starts last year. He finished seventh in his seasonal bow after chasing the pace.