Making her first start in more than four months, Ocean Drive led from the start to win the $111,300 Appalachian Stakes Friday at Keeneland.The daughter of Belong to Me pulled away from Golden Marlin at the top of the stretch and then held off Tangle to win the mile turf race for 3-year-old fillies by a half length.Time for the distance on the yielding course was 1:36.13.Tangle held on for second, 6 ¾ lengths in front of third-place Cheryl's Myth. Golden Marlin faded to fourth.Ocean Drive, owned by Sybon Stable and trained by Todd Pletcher, won for the fourth time in five starts and increased her career earnings to $207,736. She gave jockey Jerry Bailey his third win of the afternoon."Her style is to lay close up so I just wanted to hold my position and if she found herself on the lead that was fine," said Bailey. "When Tangle came up, I asked my filly to run and she did."Ocean Drive, the 2-1 favorite, paid $6, $3.40 and $3. She added the Appalachian to a previous victory at Keeneland in the Green River Stakes last fall and has Pletcher looking forward to October."Hopefully we can come back for the Queen Elizabeth (II Challenge Cup) in the fall since we're two-for-two over the course," he said.
Tangle, ridden by Corey Nakatani, returned $3.20 and $2.60. "Speed is carrying today," Nakatani said. "I thought some of the other speed horses would go with Ocean Drive but nobody went. When we came up to her, she ran away from us."Cheryl's Myth with Cornelio Velasquez up paid $5.60 to show. (Chart, Equibase)