Godolphin's Hatta Fort rallied along the rail to get the lead in the final strides, winning the $200,000 Perryville Stakes (Presented by Budweiser Select) (gr. III) (VIDEO) by a neck over a game Amazing Results at Keeneland Oct. 11.
Julien Leparoux guided the Great Britain-bred to his first U.S. graded win, coming home in the seven-furlong Polytrack event for 3-year-olds in a time of 1:25.97.
Outsider Eaton's Gift led the field past the eighth pole after setting a quick pace (:22.44, :44.89) in the Perryville, but he was swallowed up in quick succession by 13-10 choice I'm So Lucky, Amazing Results, and Hatta Fort.
After languishing near the rear, Hatta Fort worked his way to the rail for the stretch run and outfought Amazing Results, who raced six wide down the lane. I'm So Lucky, who tired nearing the wire, finished three quarters of length behind in third.
“You have to take a shot sometimes," Leparoux said. "I knew we had to be lucky to win. I could have tried to go outside, but (Amazing Results) was on the outside. I would have had to wait so I took a shot on the inside.”
Saeed bin Suroor trains the winning son of Cape Cross out of the Barathea mare Oshiponga. Bred by Wellsummers Farm, Hatta Fort was a group II winner at Newmarket in England, going seven furlongs in July 2007. He had raced on synthetic surfaces twice before, finishing second in Keeneland's Lafayette in April, which was his first start in the U.S.
“His best race was the first race in this country in the spring, and he basically ran back to it today,” said Rick Mette, assistant to bin Suroor.
An 8-1 prospect on the morning line, Hatta Fort went off as the second choice in the field of 10 at 7-2, paying $9.60, $4.60, and $3.
Hatta Fort was coming off a closing fourth-place finish in the Kentucky Cup Sprint on the Turfway Park Polytrack Sept. 27. He finished 8 1/2 lengths behind the victorious Fatal Bullet. The bay colt improved his career mark to 4-1-3 in 13 starts with earnings of $348,733.
Illinois-bred Amazing Results, ridden by Rene Douglas for Team Block, paid $6.60 and $3.60. John C. Oxley's I'm So Lucky, heavily bet off his closing third-place finish in Saratoga's Kings Bishop (gr. I) for trainer John Ward Jr., was $2.40 to show with Robby Albarado aboard.
It was three lengths back to Eaton's Gift, who was followed by Liberty Bull, Fidelio, Wise Answer, Godolphin Gray, and Meal Penalty. Nickel Shooter broke down after four furlongs and was taken off the track by ambulance. He suffered multiple fractures of the left front fetlock and was euthanized, according to Dr. Mary Scollay, the equine medical director for the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.
Ready's Image and West Express scratched.