10/30/2015 1:57PM

Tweet Kitten wears down leader to win Bryan Station

Nikki Sherman
Tweet Kitten wins the Bryan Station Stakes by a half-length Friday at Keeneland.

Tweet Kitten handled his first start against winners with aplomb, wearing down a determined leader and holding off late chargers to win the $100,000 Bryan Station Stakes on the Keeneland turf Friday.

Tweet Kitten ($34.80) was hard-held by Javier Castellano the first time past the stands as One Go All Go, winner of the Grade 2 Commonwealth Derby last out, assumed early command. Tweet Kitten eventually was content to settle several lengths back in second as One Go All Go cruised down the backstretch through moderate fractions of 24.63 seconds and 48.82 over a course rated yielding.

Tweet Kitten made an attempt to reel in One Go All Go leaving the backstretch, but the leader kicked away again to bring a three-length advantage into the lane. Tweet Kitten was set down for the drive by Castellano and steadily wore down One Go All Go to poke a head in front inside the furlong grounds. The colt then held off a furious rally from the favored Closing Bell to get the win by a half-length. The final time for 1 1/8 miles was 1:51.79.

Another neck behind Closing Bell was Wayward Kitten in third. One Go All Go faded to fourth, a length back, and survived a claim of foul for interference in the stretch to keep that placing.

Tweet Kitten, trained by Chad Brown for owner-breeders Ken and Sarah Ramsey, was coming directly from the maiden ranks, having scored his initial victory by 2 1/4 lengths Sept. 27 at Belmont Park in his eighth career start. Despite taking several tries to get that win, he had finished second or third in five of his first seven outings, missing the win by 1 1/2 lengths or less on four of those occasions.

The Bryan Station, the first of three stakes events on Friday’s Breeders’ Cup undercard, also was the first race run on turf at Keeneland since Oct. 23. The track’s Oct. 24 races were rained off the turf, and there was no racing on the course Oct. 29 in order to preserve the ground for the weekend stakes.