Gaslight Dancer sweeps to the lead and takes the Palisades (Keeneland Photo)
Keeneland Press Release
LEXINGTON, Ky.— In the fourth running of the $250,000 Palisades (L) for 3-year-olds, Gaslight Dancer swept to the lead at midstretch and held off a late bid from Two of a Kind to win by 1½ lengths.
Trained by Mike Maker and ridden by Tyler Gaffalione, Gaslight Dancer covered the 5½ furlongs on a turf course rated as good in a stakes-record 1:02.71. Slipstream established the previous standard of 1:02.80 last year.
Gaffalione gave Gaslight Dancer a ground-saving trip in fourth in the run down the backstretch as Bushido raced to an uncontested lead with No Nay Hudson (IRE) and Crispy Cat (GB) in closest pursuit.
Gaslight Dancer moved off the rail on the far turn, swept four wide into the stretch for a clear run at the leaders and took over at the eighth pole to win his 2023 debut.
Sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) to close his 2022 campaign, Gaslight Dancer earned $141,438 for the victory that increased his bankroll to $282,554 with a record of 5-2-1-0. Gaslight Dancer is a Kentucky-bred son of City of Light out of the Medaglia d’Oro mare Raindrops Droptops.
Gaslight Dancer returned $15.34, $8.60 and $4.58. Two of a Kind, ridden by Julien Leparoux, returned $35.32 and $14 and finished 2¼ lengths in front of Chiringo, who paid $11.46 to show under Irad Ortiz Jr.
It was another neck back to Crispy Cat, who was followed in order by favored Private Creed, No Nay Hudson, Fadethenoise, Bushido, Golden Nugget, Storm Daddy, Damon’s Mound and Olazabal.
Quotes for the $250,000 Palisades (L)
Mike Maker (trainer of winner Gaslight Dancer):
On Gaslight Dancer’s improvement from age 2 to age 3 in his first start this year:
“Looks pretty good. I know last year he was pretty headstrong. (Today) he looked like he settled nice, saved ground and kicked home. Last year, he was all out wanting to go for the lead. I still think he’ll stretch out to a mile.”
Tyler Gaffalione (winning rider):
“First off, all the credit goes to (trainer) Mike (Maker) and his team. They sent him over here ready to run. He broke alertly, got a nice spot on the fence. We were able to work ourselves out, and he really kicked home nice.”
Julien Leparoux (rider of runner-up Two of a Kind):
“He had a good trip from the one hole. We saved ground around the turn. Just second best today, but he ran a great race for his first time on the grass. He’s got some talent. I’m happy with the way he ran.”
Irad Ortiz Jr. (rider of third-place finisher Chiringo):
“Beautiful trip. Break was good, but I couldn’t keep up. I don’t have that type of speed so I just sat on him and let him relax. He was closing for sure.”
Joel Rosario (rider of fifth-place finisher and beaten favorite Private Creed):
“He broke well out of there. They kind of looked like they ran away from me at the first part of the race. He tried really hard, just looked like it was a fast race today.”