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LEXINGTON, KY – Bigger Picture‘s impressive turn of foot was enough to get the job done in the Dixiana Elkhorn Stakes (G3) at Keeneland. This was the second stakes win of the year for the eight-year-old son of Badge of Silver who rebounded after his poor performance last time out in the Pan American Stakes.
Letone broke well from the third post position to claim the early lead along the rail and was quickly joined by Final Copy on the outside as they made their way into the first turn on the yielding Keeneland turf. Tiz a Slam sat back in third, Soglio was fourth, and the 6-5 post time favorite Zulu Alpha sat mid-pack in seventh. By their first time into the stretch, Final Copy had sole possession of the lead and set fractions of :24.45, :50.31, and 1:16.36.
Into the backstretch, the horses slowly gained ground on the leader Final Copy and grouped together. As they hit the final turn Tiz a Slam drew even with the leader while Zulu Alpha and Red Knight came three and four wide respectively to challenge for the lead by the top of the stretch. Zulu Alpha, Red Knight, and Tiz a Slam were three wide into the stretch but Bigger Picture was just getting going as he flew up late on the outside under a heavy encouraging by jockey Tyler Gaffilione. In the last few strides, Bigger Picture got up for the lead and finished first by a half-length. Red Knight finished second, Zulu Alpha was third, and Tiz a Slam finished fourth.
“The horse broke good. He put himself in a nice position,” said jockey Tyler Gaffilione. “We saved ground around both turns. I just followed Jose (Ortiz on Zulu Alpha) when he made his move, and (Bigger Picture) grinded it out. All the credit goes to (trainer) Mike (Maker) and his team; they do a fabulous job.”
Bigger Picture returned $16.60 to win, $7.60 to place, and $4.00 to show. Red Knight brought back $6.60 to place and $4.20 to show, while Zulu Alpha paid $2.40 to show.
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