Soundly defeated in the July 13 Darley July Cup (Eng-I) and June 22 Diamond Jubilee (Eng-I) in his past two outings overseas, the 6-year-old Great Notion gelding made his comeback in resounding fashion, unleashing a powerful late run from dead last at the head of the lane to win by two lengths under jockey Garrett Gomez. He registered his fourth win in five starts at Keeneland.
Havelock won the Shakertown Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Keeneland earlier in the season, and took the 2011 edition of the Woodford as well. He now has nine wins and three thirds from 24 career starts, with earnings of $619,514 for trainer Darrin Miller.
The 5 1/2-furlong turf sprint began with a four-horse scramble for the lead, as 5-2 favorite Great Mills headed for the front with Stormofthecentury, Ancil, and Spring to the Sky for an opening quarter in :21.64 and a half in :44.86.
Gomez said he felt no concerns over Havelock's early run at the back of the pack. The bay gelding, after breaking last, finished in 1:03.17, easily ahead of runner-up Expecting Cash, who came on late for Eddie Castro to edge Spring to the Sky and John Velazquez for second by a neck.
"That's just kind of his style; he's a big, long horse and it takes him a second to get up on his feet," Gomez said. "He has a nice turn of foot and he just keeps coming. I just threw a couple crosses at him and tried to keep him focused enough to get to the wire."
"This is his home," Miller said. "I guess the biggest confidence I had was, I knew Garret was on him. I knew he would be where he needed to be."
Off as the third choice at odds of 4-1, Havelock returned $10.60, $6.20, and $4.40. Expecting Cash brought $23 and $9.80, while Spring to the Sky paid $5.20. Stormofthecentury, Global Power, Tour Guide, Console, Ancil, Pirates Vow, and Great Mills completed the order of finish.
Bred in Maryland out of the Spectacular Love mare Piconeach, Havelock also counts the 2012 Hanshin Cup Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Arlington Park among his wins.