LEXINGTON, KY – Ten Broeck Farm’s Chanteline proved strongest in the mad dash to the finish, rallying from midpack in the stretch to earn her first graded score in Friday’s Grade 3, $100,000 Buffalo Trace Franklin County Stakes at Keeneland.
Breaking cleanly from post 9 under Ricardo Santana, Jr., at 3/1 odds, Chanteline sat in midpack while Girls Know Best posted opening fractions of :21.30 and :44.76. Chanteline remained unhurried as the field turned for home, but once she straightened, she tipped out four-wide and launched a rally to the front. Though others attempted to join her in her quest, none were as strong as Chanteline. The Steve Asmussen trainee crossed the wire with a 3/4-length advantage in a final time of 1:02.89 for the 5 1/2-furlong sprint over the firm turf course.
“I saw the race had a lot of speed,” said Santana, Jr. “She’s the kind of filly where you can put her in the lead, you can put her from behind. She always tries hard. Today, I followed the same plan I did at Saratoga: Put her behind the speed and make one run. That’s what she did.”
The favored Belvoir Bay cut a sharp path along the rail but came up short of the winner, taking second by a 1/2-length. Morticia necked out a four-way photo finish for third over a weakening Girls Knows Best, who in turn nosed out Delectation and Excessivespending for fourth. Aiken to Be never improved much beyond seventh, which is where she finished by a 1/2-length over Smiling Causeway. Completing the order of finish came Con Te Partiro, On Probation, Country Chick, Brielle’s Appeal, and Miss Gossip. The three scratches were Brittney On Blades, Goldberry, and Ruby Notion.
Chanteline’s win was her second straight and improved her overall record to 26-9-7-3 with earnings of $584,972. The 6-year-old daughter of Majesticperfection has shown versatility this year, having won the $125,000 Spring Fever Stakes over the Oaklawn Park dirt back in March.
“She’s just got such a big heart,” said Asmussen assistant Scott Blasi. “She’s gotten really good this summer. I actually think she prefers the grass over the dirt. She’s learned to relax and punch home. She’s been very special to us.”
Chanteline returned $8.60 to win, $4.40 to place, and $3.20 to show. Belvoir Bay brought back $4 to place and $2.80 to show, while Morticia paid $3.80 to show.