10/05/2013 2:45PM

Keeneland: Havelock rallies from last to win Woodford Stakes

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Havelock, with Garrett Gomez aboard, wins the Grade 3 Woodford Stakes by two lengths Saturday.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Yes, Havelock is fine, despite his unproductive summer in England. For the third time in a two-year span, the Maryland-bred gelding won a Grade 3 turf sprint at Keeneland, rolling to victory Saturday under Garrett Gomez in the 17th running of the $150,000 Woodford Stakes.

After trailing for much of the race, Havelock wheeled out onto the center of a firm turf course and passed all nine of his rivals, finishing two lengths the best and competing the 5 1/2-furlong distance in 1:03.17. He returned $10.60 as the second choice.

Bred and owned by Silverton Hill Farm and trained by Darrin Miller, Havelock has 9 wins from 25 career starts. He won the Woodford in 2011 and the Grade 3 Shakertown here in the spring before Miller sent him to England for the summer, and the 6-year-old ran 11th in back-to-back Group 1 races. His record over the Keeneland turf is 4 wins from 5 starts.

“He loves it here,” Miller said. “This is his home.”

“He’s a big, long horse and kind of takes a second to get up on his feet,”  Gomez said. “Once we straightened out, he really started digging in. This firmer ground kind of helps him, I think.”

A foursome vied for the lead to the far turn, with Spring to the Sky, farthest outside, taking control approaching the eighth pole. But he was no match for the late run of Havelock, and he yielded second in the final yards to Expecting Cash, who at 24-1 was the longest shot in the field.

Spring to the Sky was third, Stormofthecentury was fourth, and Great Mills, the 5-2 favorite, faded to last.

Havelock, by Great Notion, has earned $619,514.

The $2 exacta (8-5) paid $244, the $1 trifecta (8-5-10) returned $1,089.80, and the 10-cent superfecta (8-5-10-6) was worth $728.14.

The Woodford was the first of five straight graded stakes on the Saturday card. It is not a Win and You’re In race for the Breeders’ Cup.

chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
SILVER MAX takes the day!