10/15/2011 5:07PM

Keeneland: Luke of York prevails in three-horse photo in 75th Anniversary Stakes

Keeneland/Coady Photography
Luke of York, ridden by Rajiv Maragh, gets up by a nose in the Keeneland 75th Anniversary Stakes.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – If Luke of York does this again, he’s going to tie the Breeders’ Cup crowd in knots. In both career starts, the 2-year-old colt has won by a nose, the latest victory coming Saturday in the $125,000 Keeneland 75th Anniversary Stakes.

Even after getting away last in the field of nine 2-year-olds, Luke of York, ridden by Rajiv Maragh, was able to reach contention with a quarter-mile to go in the six-furlong Polytrack race, and from there he battled with Voodoo Daddy down the stretch, with Larry Zip rallying along the rail to make it a three-horse photo. The camera showed Luke of York a nose ahead of Voodoo Daddy, with Larry Zip just another nose back in third.

“He needs to win by a little further,” said an exasperated and elated Jimmy DiVito, the Chicago-based trainer who conditions Luke of York for George Michaels.

Luke of York returned $6.80 as the favorite after finishing in 1:09.56. A rallying winner of a Sept. 24 maiden sprint at Arlington in his only prior start, the Florida-bred Luke of York  now will proceed to the new BC Juvenile Sprint on Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs, said DiVito.

Norm’s Passion, the 5-2 second choice, chased a hot pace set by 57-1 shot D’Wildcat Road before fading to last.

The Anniversary Stakes was run precisely to the date of Keeneland’s founding on Oct. 15, 1936.