Maiden Dullahan stunned the $400,000 Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity (gr. I) at Keeneland Oct. 8, coming from the back of the field to run down Majestic City late and score at odds of 17-1 (VIDEO).
Jerry Crawford’s Donegal Racing, which last year campaigned top 3-year-old and grade I turf winner Paddy O’Prado, owns Dullahan, who is conditioned by Dale Romans. The colt by Even the Score
, out of the Smart Strike mare Mining My Own, was bred in Kentucky by Judy and Phil Needham & Bena Halecky. Dullahan is a half brother to 2009 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) victor Mine That Bird.
left fastest from the rail post when the gates opened in the Futurity, leading Ancil
, Majestic City, and Take Charge Indy
into the first turn. He opened up daylight after a quarter in :22.67. Up the backstretch, Majestic City, a graded stakes-winning invader from California, made a middle move and wrested the lead from Musical Flair after a half mile in :46.15.
Majestic City was game rounding the bend for home, repelling all comers, but he found the Keeneland stretch too far to navigate, eventually giving way to Dullahan, who scored by three-quarters of a length in 1:43.12. Majestic City gamely held the place, with Optimizer
along for third.
Dullahan overcame traffic trouble in the first turn of the 1 1/16-mile test, steadying under Kent Desormeaux before the rider got her into the clear on the backstretch.
“The race went exactly opposite of what we had planned,” noted Desormeaux. “I almost fell around the first turn and he had to get his legs back underneath him. I had to make a five-eighths run down to the wire, but he accomplished it. A super horse.”
“We’ve known all along he was a special horse,” added Romans. “We felt like he was a grade-I caliber racehorse, and he showed it today. We’ll talk about the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I), whether we’re going to go to dirt, but there’s a good shot of it.”
Dullahan returned $37.60, $14.00, and $9.60. Majestic City paid $4.80 and $4.00, while Optimizer was good for $8.20. The $2 exacta returned $210.40.