Pontchatrain Takes Senator Ken Maddy Stakes

Pontchatrain Takes Senator Ken Maddy Stakes
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt
Pontchatrain with Gary Stevens wins the 2013 Ken Maddy Stakes.
Order This Photo

Glen Hill Farm's Pontchatrain was patiently ridden by Gary Stevens to rally in the stretch for a  victory as the 2-1 favorite in the Senator Ken Maddy Stakes (gr. III) on the Nov. 2 Breeders' Cup card at Santa Anita Park.

Breaking from the outside post in the 11-horse field, the 3-year-old daughter of War Front   was positioned fourth early as Sky High Gal and Winding Way took the field through fast early fractions of :21.56 and :43.72 for a half mile in the about 6 1/2-furlong sprint on Santa Anita's unique downhill turf course.

With six furlongs completed in 1:06.09, Sky High Gal continued her advantage before the rest of the field began to advance, with Winding Way taking a momentary lead as Ponchatrain steadily picked off horses to surge at the finish. The final time was 1:12.25 over the course in which the record 1:11.10 was set by California Flag in 2008. The final margins were a length, a half-length, and a nose.

"I got the lead earlier than I wanted to, I had a lot of horse," Stevens said. "She was a little keener than usual today. I showed her daylight, and that may have been a mistake early on. 

"She's still a little green, she didn't punch in with me today. She wasn't focused at the top of the stretch, she was distracted by this big crowd. She's a beautiful filly. She's still growing and I think she has a big future, she has a big turn of foot."

Ponchatrain paid $6.60, $4.00 and $3.00, with Winding Way holding on for second, paying $6.80 and $5.40. Judy In Disguise paid $6.80 for third. Completing the order were Sky High Gal, Purim's Dancer, Camryn Kate, Qiaona, Let Faith Arise, Minds Eyes, Unusual Hottie, and Sister Kate.

"I got the lead earlier than I wanted to," Stevens said. "I had a lot of horse. She was a little keener than usual today. I showed her daylight, and that may have been a mistake early on (in the race.) She's still a little green, she didn't punch in with me today. She wasn't focused at the top of the stretch, she was distracted by this big crowd. She's a beautiful filly. She's still growing and I think she has a big future, she has a big turn of foot."

"I had a great position and a good trip," said Winding Way's jockey Rafael Bejarano. "When the winner passed me he got a little frightened after Gary (Stevens) showed him the whip but it was fine. The winner was clear already and he didn't do anything wrong. I had a good trip and my horse ran good, but the winner was much the best today."

Trained by Tom Proctor, the winner came into the Senator Ken Maddy off a three-length triumph when ridden by Stevens for the first time in the Unzip Me Stakes, over the same course and distance. The Senator Ken Maddy was her fourth win in six starts.

Bred in Kentucky by Lavin Bloodstock and Kenowa Stable, the filly produced from the stakes-placed Housebuster mare Dominica was purchased for $200,000 from the Longfield Farm consignment to the 2011 Keeneland September yearling sale. 

Most Popular Stories