LEXINGTON, KY – It was bombs away in Saturday’s Ben Ali Stakes (G3) at Keeneland when Bourbon Lane Stable’s Bourbon Resolution stormed home convincingly, outrunning his 18/1 odds en route to his first stakes score.
Breaking well from post 9 under Chris Landeros, Bourbon Resolution laid close to the early pace that the 2/1 favorite Flameaway set with Noble Commander applying pressure. The bettors’ choice posted comfortable opening fractions of :24.36, :49.06, and 1:13.75 before Noble Commander made a bid midway through the far turn, and shortly thereafter, Bourbon Resolution emerged running three-wide. Though the trio straightened for home running in-step together, Bourbon Resolution soon began to draw away as he angled toward the rail.
The Ian Wilkes trainee was long gone by the time he crossed the wire, 4 1/2 lengths clear in a final time of 1:50.82 for the 1 1/8-mile event over the fast main track.
“Little change of tactics today,” Landeros said. “He’s a naturally fast horse. My instructions today were to use it a little bit, let him get into gear early and keep his momentum going. Last time, I engaged them early, took him back, and they out-footed him late. We’re learning a lot about him. Don’t think we’ve seen the best yet. (On the backstretch) I thought I had a gear left, but I had a really big gear left.”
Nun the Less came rallying six-wide from near the rear and was making good headway but was left with too much to do and had to settle for second. Fittingly, Third Day took third over Just Whistle, while just behind them, Solomini appeared to have plenty left but nowhere to run and settled for a troubled fifth. Flameaway and Noble Commander weakened to sixth and seventh, respectively, while Hence, Bonus Points, and First Mondays completed the order of finish.
Krewe Chief was scratched.
Bourbon Resolution’s win was his second in his past three starts, having taken a Gulfstream Park allowance event on February 6. The 4-year-old son of New Year’s Day, who missed most all of his 3-year-old season with injuries, now carries a record of 9-3-1-3 with $231,340 earned.
“He’s developed a lot – he’s bigger, stronger,” Wilkes said. “We were forced to give him some time, and now he’s a more mature horse. He’s only getting better, and I finally figured him out. He’s got a high cruising speed. I was probably a detriment to him trying to rate him. Today, I just told Chris, ‘Let him run. Let him find his way.’”
Bourbon Resolution returned $38.60 to win, $17.20 to place, and $9 to show. Nun the Less brought back $9.60 to place and $6.80 to show, while Third Day paid $7 to show.