Charging on the outside of the Penn National Race Course, 34-1 shot Kyma registered his first stakes victory in the $200,000 Pennsylvania Governor's Cup on the turf July 28 (VIDEO).
In a blanket finish in the five-furlong sprint, Kyma edged Car Thief by a neck, with fast-closing Super Chunky getting third, another neck back. Ben's Cat, the defending Governor's Cup winner, was fourth, a neck behind Super Chunky as the 6-5 favorite in the field of 10.
Kyma was ridden to victory by Dana Whitney. A 4-year-old by Belong to Me, Kyma is trained by Brandon Culp for owner Thomas G. McClay. The winner was bred in Pennsylvania by McClay and Denise McHenry-Dommel and is out of the Cozzene mare Coquina Bay.
Now 2-for-2 in 2012, Kyma was coming off a victory over an allowance/optional claiming field over the course and distance June 15. The bay gelding is now 3-for-3 on turf, all at five furlongs.
"We tried him long a couple of times and he just ran even," Culp said afterward. "We tried him back short and he comes flying. He's an awesome horse."
Kyma paid $71.60, $31, and $10.60 while keying a $1,019 exacta with 22-1 Car Thief, who returned $23.80 and $8.80. Super Chunky, sent off at 10-1, paid $6.20 and completed a $1 trifecta worth $3,301. A $1 superfecta returned $14,772.30.
The winning time was :56.28 over firm turf.
Blue Tick Hound narrowly led Jack On the Rocks on the inside and a surprising Ben's Cat, who usually stalks from well off the pace. Blue Tick Hound led the opening quarter-mile in a swift :22.03 but the complexion had completely changed by the time they reached the furlong mark in :45.23.
Ben's Cat, between horses, forged a head's advantage but couldn't hold off Car Thief as Kyma arrived in deep stretch to poke his head in front. Kyma and Car Thief, ridden by Jose Caraballo, battled to the wire with Ben's Cat fighting on in third, The first two got there just ahead of Super Chunky and Sheldon Russell streaking home late to just miss.
"He always hangs because he only does what he has to do to win," Whitney said of Kyma.
Ben's Cat could have surpassed $1 million career earnings while seeking his 17th win in 25 races.
Kaya improved to five wins in seven starts with earnings of $241,530. In his only previous stakes try, he finished third in the Lil E Tee Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on the synthetic track at Presque Isle Downs last August.
Two races after Kyma’s upset, 2011 Resorts World New York Wood Memorial (gr. I) winner Toby's Corner scored his first victory of the seasonby four lengths in the $175,000 Mountainview Handicap over 1 1/8 miles on the main track. Toby's Corner faced four opponents in the main track event.
It was the second stakes win on the night for trainer Graham Motion and jockey Jeremy Rose, who also teamed to win the $100,000 East Hanover Stakes with Augustin Stable’s Smart Bid .
Dianne and Julian Cotter's Toby’s Corner, winless since he won the Wood Memorial (gr. I) in April 2011, eclipsed a 25-year old track record in the Mountainview. The 4-year old son of Bellamy Road was clocked in 1:49.15. The old mark of 1:49.80 had been set by Collection Agent Aug. 22, 1987.
In the East Hanover, Smart Bid held off the late charge of See Tobe to win by a neck, running the 1 1/2 miles on grass in 2:29.47.
“This is a very talented horse,” said Augustin Stable owner George Strawbridge, “and I think he will be heard from later on this year.”