Stuart Janney III’s homebred Data Link came from off the pace to run down favored Turallure in the final jumps, capturing the $300,000 Maker’s 46 Mile (gr. IT) at odds of 12-1 April 13 at Keeneland (VIDEO).
Making his first grade I start against a good field that included TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile (gr. I) runner-up Turallure and defending Maker's Mark Mile winner Get Stormy , Data Link was sent off as the second longest chance in a field of six turf milers. The 4-year-old son of War Front trailed for six furlongs before launching his winning move while racing wide on the final turn. He passed a trio of horses inside the sixteenth pole to win for the first time this year.
The bay colt was ridden to victory by Alex Solis for trainer Shug McGaughey. The winner was bred in Kentucky and is out of the Known Fact mare Database.
Data Link covered the distance on the firm turf in 1:34.31.
As expected, it was Get Stormy who set the pace, and he took the field around in reasonable splits of :23.05, :47.02, and 1:11.21 while Pressday and Hollinger tracked the leader. Then came Turallure and Doubles Partner, with Data Link well back early on.
Get Stormy hit the top of the stretch still holding the advantage under Ramon Dominguez, but tired in the final furlong while Turallure took over and Doubles Partner tried to find room along the inside. Turallure had the lead into the late stages before Data Link, wheeled out by Solis for the drive, collared him just before the wire.
Turallure, making his first start of the season under Julien Leparoux, finished a half-length in front of Doubles Partner, who was forced to steady in the final furlong when Get Stormy drifted out. Get Stormy was fourth, followed by Hollinger and Pressday.
"Around the half-mile pole I saw Julien on the favorite (Turallure) and I thought I'd track him," Solis said. "I got him out by the quarter pole and he did his thing."
Data Link was making the second start of his season after finishing a close third in the Canadian Turf (gr. IIIT) March 3 at Gulfstream Park. He ended 2011 by winning four of five starts, but none of them in stakes company.
The victory improved Data Link to 5-0-1 from 10 starts and upped his earnings to $315,500.
"This is only his second graded stakes start," McGaughey said. "He ran a good race to Doubles Partner (in the Canadian Turf) who won the race, but it was just so hard to catch up at Gulfstream. Afte the race I asked Alex, because I had this in the back of my mind, and he said 'I think he'll be fine there.'
"It was a tough spot because it was kind of a next place that I could run him. It worked out good for us."
The winner paid $27.20, $7.60, and $4. The exacta (7-6) returned $85.20 and the trifecta (7-6-1) was worth $278.20.