Charging from the back of the pack, Live Oak Plantation’s homebred Awesome Slew blew past 9-5 favorite A. P. Indian to win the $250,000 Commonwealth Stakes (G3) April 8 at Keeneland. The 4-year-old colt by Awesome Again covered the seven furlongs in 1:22.31.
Awesome Slew was the 3-1 second choice in the nine-horse cast. He is out of the Seeking the Gold mare Slewfoundmoney. Limousine Liberal finished third and Ami's Flatter, last year’s Commonwealth winner, came in fourth.
Yockey's Warrior broke on top, but it was Limousine Liberal who set the early pace in the Commonwealth. Limousine Liberal, who finished second in last fall’s Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix Stakes (G2) to A. P. Indian, set a quick :22.97 and :46.21 tempo through a half-mile over a fast track. Yockey’s Warrior gave chace with Redesdale close up in third wide, and A. P. Indian and Fish Trappe Road in close attendance.
The field bunched turning for home, and in early stretch A. P. Indian came to the fore and appeared home free after six furlongs in 1:10.29, but was run down late by Awesome Slew and jockey Joel Rosario.
The Mark Casse-trained Awesome Slew came into the Commonwealth off a runner-up effort behind Sharp Azteca in the one-mile Gulfstream Park Handicap (G2). His last win came in September at Parx Racing in the two-turn Smarty Jones Stakes (G3). He now has four wins, a second, and three thirds from 11 starts.
The winner paid $8.20, $4, and $2.80. A. P. Indian returned $3.20 and $2.80, and Limousine Liberal paid $3.80.