Asi Siempre returned from a 5 1/2-month layoff to post a come-from-behind victory in the $108,600 Doubledogdare Stakes (gr. III) (VIDEO) for fillies and mares Wednesday at Keeneland.
The 5-year-old daughter of El Prado dropped back to last in the early stages of the 1 1/16-mile race and then came with a rush on the turn to win for the seventh time in 17 career starts.
Garrett Gomez rode Asi Siempre, who ran the distance in 1:46.40 and earned $67,332 for owner Martin Schwartz. Patrick Biancone trains the winner.
“Patrick told me to take my time with her and just get her behind there,” said Gomez. “When we turned for home, it was just a matter of pushing a button, which button I wanted push. She has a heck of a turn of foot.”
Pyramid Love, ridden by Julien Leparoux, was a length back in second after establishing a seven-length advantage early in the paceless race. Both the first and second horses are trained by Biancone.
Pyramid Love set glacier-like fractions -- :27, :52 and 1:16 14/5 -- and lasted past the furlong pole before being overtaken by Asi Siempre. It was three-quarters of a length back to third-place Warrior Girl, with Fernando Jara aboard. Soul Search and Dance Away Capote completed the field.
Asi Siempre won the Juddmonte Spinster (gr. I) last fall but had not started since finishing second to Round Pound in the Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Distaff (gr. I). She ultimately was disqualified and placed fourth.
The winner increased her career earnings to $828,608 and paid $2.80, $2.10 and $2.10 as the 2-5 favorite. Pyramid Love returned $2.60 and $2.40 and Warrior Girl paid $3.60 to show.
Biancone’s long-term goal for Asi Siempre is the Breeders’ Cup Distaff to be run this year at Monmouth Park in October. “Let’s cross our fingers,” he said.
On a day when Keeneland honored Hall of Fame jockeys, 2004 inductee Kent Desormeaux rode two winners on the nine-race program. He was honored during the day along with Pat Day, Angel Cordero, Jr., Don Brumfield, Steve Cauthen, Earlie Fires, Chris McCarron, Gary Stevens and Bobby Ussery.
The Hall of Fame jockeys in attendance combined to win nearly 50,000 races, including 14 Kentucky Derbys, during their careers. All but Desormeaux and Fires are retired. They posed for photographs and signed autographs throughout the afternoon.
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