Today’s feature at Keeeneland was the Grade 3 Sycamore Stakes over a mile and a half on the Haggin turf course. The race had lost its defending champ, ten-year-old Cloudy’s Knight, when the popular gelding retired this week, but several other old fogies made it into the gate, with the average age of the runners 5.88 years old. The field of twelve had earned over $7.66-million combined (it would have been over $10-million had Cloudy’s Knight run!). I’m posting photos of them in appreciation of these grand old warriors.
|The retiree Cloudy's Knight, photographed in November of 2009, a few days prior to his second-place effort by a nose in the Breeders' Cup Marathon..|
Brass Hat (1st), a nine-year-old gelding who was registering his first win this season, was the senior citizen of the group, and third betting choice.
|Brass Hat in the paddock.|
The only horse under the age of five was four-year-old Southern Anthem, who ran second at odds of 54.6-to-1.
|Four-year-old Southern Anthem.|
The favorite, eight-year-old Musketier (Ger) (3rd), was making his first start since defeating Brass Hat in the Fifth Third Elkhorn S.-G2 over course and distance in April.
|Musketier entering the paddock.|
Yate’s Black Cat (5th) was one of two seven-year-olds in the field.
|Handsome Yate's Black Cat.|
The other, three-time Grade 1 stakes winner Presious Passion (9th) – he of the catch-me-if-you-can racing style – was second choice on this, his first appearance on a Kentucky racetrack.
|Presious Passion in the paddock...|
|...and leading the field the first time under the wire.|
As you can see, Brass Hat barely broke a sweat in securing the win by a length in 2:30.73.
|Brass Hat awaiting win circle photo #2 after winning the Sycamore.|
After posing for the traditional graded stakes race winner’s circle photo on the grass course, jockey Calvin Borel did something I’d never seen before when he hopped on the bareback Brass Hat for a win photo in the regular winner’s circle.
|Calvin Borel posed bareback on Brass Hat.|