George and Lori Hall's Keeneland Kat stormed through the stretch to capture the $100,000 Sorority Stakes for 2-year-old fillies impressively Saturday at Monmouth Park.
Trained by Kelly Breen and ridden by Stewart Elliott, Keeneland Cat trailed most of the field early, but drew off late to finish 2 1/2 lengths in front of Unobstructed View, the 2-1 favorite. Pure Disco, a 55-1 chance, was three-quarters of a length farther back in third.
Keeneland Kat, a daughter of Hennessy
who broke her maiden at Monmouth in July, raced the six furlongs over a fast main track in 1:11 1/5, and paid $9, $4.20, and $3.80 as second choice in the field of 11 juvenile fillies. She topped a $40.60 exacta with Unobstructed View, who gained the lead from pacesetting Pure Disco in mid-stretch only to be passed by the winner.
Keeneland Kat earned a prize of $60,000 for her second career victory, bringing her bankroll to $82,200. She employed similar off-the-pace tactics to win her maiden here July 23, when she drew off to score by nearly seven lengths.
"I thought we'd sit fourth or fifth down the backstretch," Breen said. "I told Stewie to let the speed go. For her to come out of the gate slow was a disappointment. She had to be a dozen lengths out of it down the backstretch and for a 2-year-old to make up that kind of ground is impressive."
Elliott was happy with the way things turned out after a slow start.
"We actually planned on laying just off the speed," the rider said, "but she didn't break that well. I decided to leave her alone and just hope that the pace was quick enough so they would be backing up late. I was pretty confident turning for home because she was really running."