LEXINGTON, Ky.—In the Myrtlewood, Flurry Racing Stables and Hoffman Family Racing’s Key of Life lived up to her odds-on backing by cruising to a 6 3/4-length victory over Lady Radler.
Trained by Brad Cox and ridden by Florent Geroux, Key of Life ran the 6 furlongs on the fast main track in 1:11.09.
Key of Life shot to the lead out of the gate and was hounded by second choice Somebody’s Problem through fractions of :22.34 and :45.91. At the top of the stretch, Key of Life found another gear, gradually opened up on the field and was not threatened in the run to the finish line.
Key of Life is a Kentucky-bred daughter of Mo Town out of the Harlan’s Holiday mare Longride to Wisdom. A winner of three of four starts, Key of Life increased her earnings to $263,710 with Friday’s $116,250 check.
Key of Life returned $3.34, $2.60 and $2.20. Lady Radler, ridden by Julien Leparoux, returned $16.98 and $7.24 and finished 1¾ lengths in front of Baby Got Backspin, who paid $3.96 to show under Irad Ortiz Jr.
It was another head back to Take Charge Briana, who was followed in order by Satin Doll, Two Minute Drill, Flamand, Somebody’s Problem, Willow Bend and Time for Champagne.
Quotes from the $200,000 Myrtlewood
Brad Cox (trainer of winner Key of Life): “She really has put it together over the last month or so. Her win at Churchill she ran big (maiden special weight Aug. 13), but she came back here, and I thought really showed who she is opening weekend (when she won by 61⁄4 lengths). We took her back to Churchill and she was training well, and this race came up with a big field so (we decided to) give it a shot. We liked the (post position) she drew. She broke well. Very happy with her performance today.”
On whether she will stretch out to routing as she turns 3: “If we were to stretch her out, we would gradually do it. I’m not certain she will go long. Her pedigree says she wants more ground, but she’s very well built and she’s fast, so we don’t want to take her speed away from her, trying to do something she’s not comfortable doing. We’ll let her tell us over time. She could stretch, maybe, as she gets older, but right now we’re pretty content with the way she’s performing.”
Florent Geroux (winning rider): “She broke super sharp today and I thought since she got a little bit of a head start, why not take advantage of it? From there she set some very nice, honest fractions. I was able to slow down a little bit the second quarter. She relaxed very nice for me. I love the way she finishes her races. It’s like she’s waiting for my call all the time, and as soon as I shake my hands a little bit and ask her for more, she always gives me another gear.”
Julien Leparoux (rider of runner-up Lady Radler): “She stumbled a little bit out of the gate, but she recovered very quick. I had a nice spot in the race but was just second best today.”
Irad Ortiz Jr. (rider of third-place finisher Baby Got Backspin): “Perfect trip. I missed the break a little bit, but after that I went to Plan B and let her settle and relax. She did great. Top of the stretch, she came with a good run at the end.”
Keeneland’s 17-day Fall Meet comes to a close Saturday afternoon with a 10-race program that begins at 1 p.m. ET. Three stakes are on the program, highlighted by the $350,000 Hagyard Fayette (G2) for 3-year-olds and up going 1 1/8 miles on the main track. The Hagyard Fayette is scheduled as the ninth race with a 5:16 p.m. post time.
The other stakes are the $300,000 Bryan Station (G3) for 3-year-olds going a mile on the turf that will go as the eighth race with a 4:44 p.m. post time and the $200,000 Bowman Mill for 2-year-old going 6 furlongs on the main track as the sixth race with a 3:40 p.m. post time.
Keeneland Press Release