10/14/2011 4:49PM

Keeneland: Two-year-old sets six-furlong track record


LEXINGTON, Ky. – A 2-year-old filly making her first career start smashed the Polytrack record for six furlongs at Keeneland on Friday when winning by nine lengths, after which the ontrack timer said several methods of clocking the race substantiated its validity.

Applauding, owned by Ramona Bass and trained by Al Stall Jr., finished in 1:07.76 under a drive from jockey Garrett Gomez, breaking the record of 1:08.30 set in April 2007 by He Loves Me Not.

Mark Skaggs, the timer for American Teletimer, said both the computerized photo-finish camera system used to time races electronically and his hand-held stopwatch showed the final posted time. Moreover, the Trakus system was "within a fifth of a second, a little quicker, actually," from the posted time, Skaggs reported. Also, the Keeneland stewards said they timed the replay off a television monitor and were very close to the posted time.

A very strong headwind, with gusts of more than 35 miles per hour, prevailed down the stretch throughout a 10-race Friday card, when final times for other races also were considerably faster than normal. Skaggs theorized that the backstretch wind at horses’s backs "have given them such an easy time down the backside, maybe they had plenty of energy for the stretch – but that’s just my guess."

Applauding, a Florida-bred by Congrats, was a $370,000 purchase earlier this year at the Fasig-Tipton sales in Florida. She was coming off a lengthy series of fast works over the Keeneland Polytrack in a maiden special-weight field. She returned $7 as the slight favorite in a field of 12.

Keeneland switched to Polytrack for its main surface at the 2006 fall meet.