Silver Knott Wins G2 Elkhorn, Kingsbarns Takes G3 Ben Ali

April 20, 2024

Silver Knott draws away to win the Elkhorn (Courtney Snow/Past The Wire)

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Keeneland Press Release

LEXINGTON, Ky.— Godolphin’s Silver Knott (GB), prominent throughout, hit the front midway on the final turn en route to a 1½-length victory in the 39th running of the $313,750 VisitLEX Elkhorn (G2) for 4-year-olds and up Saturday afternoon.

Recently named University of Kentucky Men’s Basketball Head Coach Mark Pope joined VisitLex officials in presenting the trophy to the winning connections of the VisitLex Elkhorn.

In the race following the VisitLEX Elkhorn, Spendthrift Farm’s Kingsbarns captured the 93rd running of the $300,000 Ben Ali (G3) for 4-year-olds and up by 3¼ lengths over War Campaign.

In the VisitLEX Elkhorn, Silver Knott raced just off the flank of longshot Wentru through fractions of :24.04, :49.82, 1:16.36 and 1:40.22. Going into the final turn, Silver Knott went after Wentru and quickly established a daylight advantage that he carried into the stretch where he never was threatened.

Trained by Charlie Appleby and ridden by Flavien Prat, Silver Knott completed the mile and a half on a firm turf course in 2:27.37.

A 4-year-old son of Lope de Vega out of the Nathaniel mare God Given, Silver Knott was returning to Keeneland for the first time since he finished second, beaten a nose, in the 2022 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1).

Making his first start of 2024, Silver Knott improved his record to 13-4-2-4 and increased his earnings to $653,276 with Saturday’s $176,700 check.

Silver Knott rewarded his backers with payoffs of $13.52, $7.14 and $3.18. Missed the Cut, ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., returned $5.66 and $2.64 and finished a neck in front of favored Bold Act (IRE) who paid $2.10 to show under Frankie Dettori.

It was another 4½ lengths back to King Curlin, who was followed in order by Highland Chief (IRE), Lucky Curlin, Wentru, Dynadrive and The Grey Wizard (IRE).

Kingsbarns Wins Ben Ali

Kingsbarns reigns supreme in the Ben Ali (Courtney Snow/Past The Wire)

Kingsbarns lived up to his favoritism by racing past second choice War Campaign at the top of the stretch and drawing off for the victory.

Trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by Luis Saez, Kingsbarns completed the 1 3/16 miles on a fast main track in 1:57.74. It is the third victory in the race for Pletcher, who previously won with Exhi in 2011 and Protonico in 2015.

Laughing Boy led the field of nine through fractions of :24.07, :48.57 and 1:13.66 with War Campaign tracking in second and Kingsbarns fourth. On the far turn, War Campaign went after Laughing Boy and quickly took over with Kingsbarns on the move right behind him.

The two favorites hit the top of the stretch together, but it quickly turned into a one-horse race as Kingsbarns pulled away.

Kingsbarns is a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Uncle Mo out of the Tapit mare Lady Tapit. Winner of the Louisiana Derby (G2) last year, Kingsbarns improved his record to 7-5-1-0 and added $176,700 to his bankroll that now totals $907,800.

Kingsbarns returned $5.36, $3.58 and $3.10. War Campaign, ridden by Tyler Gaffalione, returned $4.40 and $3.08 and finished 3 lengths in front of Archie the Giza, who paid $6.54 to show under John Velazquez.

It was another 1½ lengths back to Time for Trouble with Dynamic One, Surly Furious, Smile Happy, Laughing Boy and Happy American following in order.

Racing continues Sunday with a nine-race program beginning at 1 p.m. ET.

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