A resolute Ice Cream Silence withstood pace pressure throughout to prevail by a neck over Sisterhood for jockey Rosie Napravnik in the Hilliard Lyons Doubledogdare Stakes (gr. III) at Keeneland April 19 (VIDEO).
A homebred for G. Watts Humphrey Jr. and Louise Ireland Humphrey Revocable Trust, Ice Cream Silence registered her first stakes victory for trainer George "Rusty" Arnold. The 8-1 shot completed the 1 1/16-mile event for older fillies and mares in 1:44.66, holding on over 9-1 chance Sisterhood.
Artemus Kitten was third, giving owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey both the second- and third-place finishers, while 6-5 favorite Mystical Star checked in fourth.
Ice Cream Silence was overlooked in the wagering after a distant seventh-place finish in the Inside Information Stakes (gr. II) in her seasonal debut at Gulfstream Park March 17. But she was able to ration her speed effectively with the stretch-out from seven furlongs and proved a determined winner.
The 4-year-old daughter of Street Sense out of the stakes-winning Seeking the Gold mare Double Scoop won last year's Optimistic Gal Stakes at Churchill Downs by five lengths. She went to the sidelines after a runner-up finish in the Iowa Oaks (gr. III) June 30 at Prairie Meadows.
"Last year, we thought she was our best filly," Arnold said. "She went out to Prairie Meadows and got injured and missed the entire fall. We brought her back, nothing went right in Florida. We didn't get her the right way. She had a disastrous kind of day (in the Inside Information). We brought her in here early and she did everything right."
Two scratches left a field of six for the 19th renewal of the Doubledogdare, with Mystical Star, runner-up in Keeneland's Juddmonte Spinster Stakes (gr. I) last fall, the heavy favorite.
Napravnik sent Ice Cream Silence to the lead from post 2 as Sisterhood joined her on the front end, with Lotta Lovin tracking closely in third on the far outside. Ice Cream Silence led narrowly through an opening quarter mile in :24.43 and regained the advantage from Sisterhood, who led briefly on the backstretch, while completing the half in :49.20. The leaders were three across rounding the final bend as Lotta Lovin poked her head in front after six six furlongs in 1:13.91.
"I knew it was an easy pace," Napravnik said. "Rusty gave me the liberty to just do whatever felt right and ride the race how it came up. She's a great filly and just very responsive, did whatever I asked, and obviously showed her class."
With Mystical Star advancing into contention, Ice Cream Silence and Lotta Lovin battled into the stretch. Ice Cream Silence assumed control in the lane as Lotta Lovin gave way, opening up a 1 1/2-length advantage. She then had to dig in late as Sisterhood, who had dropped back a bit after altering course coming into the stretch, charged back to challenge along the inside for Joel Rosario.
Sisterhood could not quite get to the winner while finishing three lengths clear of the stalking Artemus Kitten, who saved the show spot by a head over Mystical Star. Lotta Loving was next, with 2011 Queen's Plate winner Inglorious far back in last.
"When we turned for home, she was kind of waiting a little bit to make her move," Rosario said of Sisterhood. "If you make a move early with her, she kind of looks around a little bit. But the pace was slow, and (Ice Cream Silence) held on."
Ice Cream Silence improved her career mark to four wins and two seconds from eight starts with earnings of $211,460.
Under equal weights of 118 pounds, Ice Cream Silence paid $19.80, $8, and $4.20. Sisterhood, a supplemental entry by trainer Wesley Ward, returned $8.80 and $4.60. They combined for a healthy $146.40 exacta. Artemus Kitten, ridden by Gary Stevens, paid $4.20.
Earlier on the program, the Ramseys sent out two winners to boost their meet-leading total to a record-equaling 12 with five days remaining in the meet, which ends April 26.
This is the fourth time since Keeneland opened in 1936 that an ownership has had 12 winners. The Ramseys had 12 winners last fall to equal the autumn mark established in 1968 by Mr. and Mrs. Robert F. Roberts. Calumet Farm had 12 winners during the 1941 spring meet.