Zayat Stables' Thorn Song sprinted to an early lead and never relinquished it, wiring a full field in the $600,000 Shadwell Turf Mile (gr. IT) (VIDEO) Oct. 4 on the Keeneland turf. The 1 1/4-length victory earned the 5-year-old son of Unbridled's Song an automatic berth in the $1-million TVG Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) Oct. 25 at Santa Anita.
Trained by Dale Romans, Thorn Song captured his first grade I victory while going off as the lukewarm 3-1 favorite. He is now 3-0-1 at the one-mile turf distance. The final time on a ‘firm’ course was 1:34.97.
Ridden aggressively by Robby Albarado, Thorn Song broke from post three and took advantage of a lack of early speed in the field of 12. He clicked off solid fractions of :23.28, :46.26 and 1:10.01 for six furlongs. Karelian and Kingship were up close for a half-mile, as was Woodbine Mile (Can-IT) winner Rahy’s Attorney. War Monger was never far behind and came up to challenge at the top of the stretch. But Thorn Song repelled the bid with a sixteenth of a mile remaining and got to the wire before Shakis, who made a furious late run from the back of the pack.
“He’s got a high cruising speed,” said Albarado. “Dale said to open up two lengths and see where you’re at. I know I was going awfully quick on the backside. But I felt like he was doing it within himself.
“He had his ears up, he was comfortable and he sprinted home. He just kept the same pace throughout the race.”
Shakis, who won the Bernard Baruch (gr. IIT) two starts ago, was a nose better than War Monger. Lord Admiral, also coming with a late run, was only a head back in fourth.
Thorn Song entered off a fourth-place finish in the Aug. 23 Bernard Baruch at Saratoga, but was just 1 1/2 lengths back of Shakis. Earlier in the season, the gray/roan horse took the one-mile Firecracker Handicap (gr. IIT) at Churchill. In the spring meet on the Keeneland grass, Thorn Song missed by a length to Kip Deville in a third-place Maker’s Mark Mile (gr. I) finish.
Bred in Kentucky by Pinnacle Racing and Taylor Made Farm, Thorn Song is out of the Storm Bird mare Festal. Overall, Thorn Song has produced a 7-4-4 record from 22 starts and has earned $914,981.
The winner paid $8.40, $4.60 and $2.80. The exacta (3-1) was worth $36.20, while the trifecta (3-1-6) returned $1101.40.
Karelian was fifth, followed by Rahy’s Attorney, French Beret, Elusive Fort, Lovelace, Buffalo Man, Kingship and Society’s Chairman.