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LEXINGTON, KY – Novogratz Racing Stables’ Amy’s Challenge presented far too great a challenge to her rivals, winning easily in Friday’s $150,000 McConnell Springs Stakes at Keeneland.
Plenty of late money plummeted Amy’s Challenge down to 5/2 favoritism as she broke from post 2 under Jose Lezcano, and though Headland and Harmless led initially, Amy’s Challenge surged up the rail to assume command halfway down the backstretch.
With those rivals and Wildwood’s Beauty all flanking her outside, Amy’s Challenge posted controlled opening fractions of :22.01 and :44.80.
Straightening for home with a clear advantage, the Mac Robertson trainee had more than enough left to hold safely and win the 6-furlong fast dirt sprint by 2 1/4 lengths in 1:09.17.
Unique Factor rallied from last to take second by a head over Wildwood’s Beauty, while Unholy Alliance made a late push to take fourth over Into Chocolate by 3/4 of a length.
Bye Bye J, Royal Charlotte, Harmless, and Headland completed the order of finish.
Amy’s Challenge’s win was her second of the year following a 5 3/4-length romp at Delaware Park against optional claimers in August and improved her overall record to 19-8-4-2. The 5-year-old Artie Schiller mare, who missed winning the 2019 Madison Stakes (G1) over this course by a neck, has now earned $647,273.
Amy’s Challenge returned $7.80 to win, $5 to place, and $3.80 to show. Unique Factor brought back $5 to place and $3.80 to show, while Wildwood’s Beauty paid $5 to show.
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