10/08/2011 4:14PM

Keeneland: Havelock rallies late to win Woodford Stakes

Keeneland/Coady Photography
Havelock, under Robby Albarado, rallies in the stretch to win the Grade 3 Woodford Stakes.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The last furlong got ’em. Havelock, in off a subpar route race on the Turfway synthetic, flew past the opposition with a ferocious stretch kick Saturday to post a one-length triumph in the 15th running of the Grade 3, $150,000 Woodford Stakes for turf sprinters.

With Robby Albarado riding for Silverton Hill LLC and trainer Darrin Miller, Havelock was ninth early before making his run. A 4-year-old homebred gelding by Great Notion, Havelock won the Arlington Sprint and Grade 2 Play the King at Woodbine, both on turf, before throwing in a clunker two weeks ago in the WinStar Classic at Turfway.

“We’re back where we need to be with him,” said Miller, adding he was not sure whether Havelock would advance to the Nov. 5 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs.

Varsity, Great Mills, and Magoo hooked up in a sustained early duel in the 5 1/2-furlong Woodford, but then Great Attack swept past them approaching the eighth pole. Then it was Perfect Officer who came rolling, but then Havelock trumped them all with his rush.

“They went quick enough, which was conducive to his running style,” Albarado said. “He’s a nice horse with a tremendous turn of foot.”

Havelock returned $12.40 as third choice in a field of 12 after finishing in 1:01.96 over a firm course. Perfect Officer, the 5-1 second choice, was second, three-quarters of a length before late-running Country Day, with 55-1 shot Uno Ducksy also coming belatedly to be fourth.

Great Mills, the lukewarm 7-2 favorite, faded to 10th under Julien Leparoux, who swept the three preceding races on the card.