Pachattack Denies Kathmanblu, Leparoux
On a day that belonged the Julien Leparoux, it was Rajiv Maragh that was able to narrowly outduel his fellow rider in the Keeneland feature, as Pachattack defeated Kathmanblu by a neck in the $100,000 Hilliard Lyons Doubledogdare (gr. III) (VIDEO) on April 20.
Leparoux, the perennial leading rider at Keeneland, won six races from eight mounts on the afternoon to tie a 22-year-old record at the Lexington track. He was trying to put his name all alone in the books aboard Kathmanblu in the feature. The 4-year-old filly set the pace in the 1 1/16-mile Polytrack event before being taken on by 7-10 favorite Pachattack under Maragh. Those two dueled for the length of the short stretch before Pachattack inched away on the outside in the final yards.
Pachattack is owned by Flaxman Holdings and is trained by Graham Motion. The 6-year-old daughter of Pulpit, making her first start of the season, was bred in Kentucky by Dapple Broodmares and is out of the Red Ransom mare El Laoob. This was her sixth victory from 27 lifetime starts.
Kathmanblu and Leparoux took the early lead into the short first turn and were able to control the pace unpressured while running splits of :24.18, :48.37, and 1:12.91. Pachattack raced alongside Lunar Mist in the early stages but never let Kathmanblu get too far away. She was right on her heels when they reached the quarter pole and finally poked a head in front at the top of the stretch.
The final time was 1:43.75. La Gran Bailadora, rallying from last on the far turn, was another 2 1/2 lengths back in third in a field of six. Sea Level Drive was fourth, followed by My Pal Chrisy, and Lunar Mist. Two of the favorites, Joyful Victory and Principal Role, were scratched.
Pachattack was making her first start since finishing third in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic (gr. I) in November. She was grade I placed in two other races prior to that and recorded her lone victory in 2011 in the Arlington Matron (gr. IIIT) in May.
With her Doubledogdare win, Pachattack upped her earnings to $786,893.
"To be honest, she makes me look good," Motion said. "She's so straightforward in the morning. It's exciting to have a filly like this."
Leparoux was disappointed at not being to break the record, but was still thrilled to have such a big day. The other two riders to win six races on a single Keeneland card were Randy Romero and Craig Perret, who both accomplished the feat during the 1990 spring meet.
“I was really thinking I could get (the record) Leparoux said. “She (Kathmanblu) was relaxed. When I could see who was outside of me I knew it was Rajiv so I knew it was going to be a fight to the finish."
Leparoux’s winners came aboard Rhonin Victoria ($5.80) in the first, Love Reigns ($7.20) in the second, Rally Point ($7.40) in the fourth, Sum of the Parts ($4.60) in the fifth, Julie's Love ($4) in the seventh, and Into the Fray ($8) in the eighth.
“I was feeling pretty good. Everything I was on was the favorite pretty much so I was hoping to have a good day,” Leparoux said right after he won aboard Into the Fray in a maiden race. “But they still have to win. It was just one of those days when they all ran good for me. The meet started out slow for me but it’s been okay since the first couple days.
“I love Keeneland and I love Kentucky. It’s my last full year in Kentucky but I’ll be back here so hopefully I can keep winning.”
Pachattack paid $3.40, $2.40, and $2.10. The exacta (5-2) returned $14.20 and the trifecta (5-2-1) was worth $23.80.
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