C K Woods Stable's homebred Timo rallied to catch longshot Mr. J. T. L. in the stretch and posted a three-quarter length triumph in the $113,400 Transylvania Stakes (gr. IIIT), the opening day feature at Keeneland Racecourse in Lexington, Ky.
Mr. J. T. L. took the lead under Rafael Bajarano, setting early fractions of :23 1/5 and :47 1/5 while being stalked by Dynafire and Exploited Storm. Timo was positioned just behind the front three as jockey Edgar Prado had the son of El Prado
--Elocat's Burgler (by Criminal Type) ready to strike in the stretch.
The 3-year-old colt rallied in the middle of the course, refused to be bothered when 9-5 favorite Commendation came out on him, and then caught the leaders for the victory. Final time for 1 mile on turf was 1:36 2/5.
"He had a hard time getting by the leader at the end," Prado said. "He hadn't been out in a while and I think the 123 pounds got to him, too. We had a perfect trip and got the job done."
The winner returned $6.60, $4.60, and $3.40. Mr. J. T. L. paid $20.00 and $11.20, with America Alive closing well late to get third, paying $7.00.
Trained by Bill Badgett Jr., Timo has won four of his seven career starts, with two second-place efforts. His only unplaced finish was an eighth in the Tropical Park Derby (gr. III) at Calder Racecourse previous to the Transylvania. He increased his career earnings to $223,823 with the victory.
"He's a real nice consistent horse," Badgett said. "If you throw his last race out, his record is terrific. He gave a lot of weight away today and still ran well."
Despite cloudy skies and cold temperatures, the opening-day attendance total was 10,926.