With a three-wide move under Gary Stevens on the turn, White Heat took the lead in the stretch and held off favorite King Cugat to win the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. IT) by a neck. Final time for the 1 1/8 miles on the turf was 1:48.75.
White Heat, owned by Gainsborough Farm and trained by Neil Drysdale, was making his first start since last September in the Woodford Reserve. A dark bay or brown gelding by Green Desert, White Heat won the Charles Whittingham Handicap (gr. IT) last year.
The early pace was set by Aly's Alley, who carved out easy early splits of :24.09 and :47.92. He was followed early by David Copperfield and Northcote Road. The three raced in a line down the backstretch and traveled six furlongs in 1:11.65. The field bunched up around the turn, with Stevens and White Heat coming on with a wide move.
In the stretch, White Heat battled with a rallying King Cugat and Brahms and prevailed in a hard drive. King Cugat finished a length in front of Brahms. Thesaurus finished fourth.
White Heat paid $14.60, $6.80, and $4.20. King Cugat returned $3.80 to place and $2.60 to show. Brahms paid $2.60 to show. The exacta returned $58.20.