LEXINGTON, KY – Trinity Farm homebred Red Knight surged to the lead in mid-stretch and cleared off to win as the favorite in Thursday’s $150,000 Sycamore Stakes (G3) at Keeneland.
Sent from post 2 under James Graham as the 2/1 top choice in the 10-horse field, Red Knight saved ground near the rear of the field early.
Postulation broke on top from the rail and posted fractions of :24.84, :51.08, 1:16.04, and 1:40.76 through the opening mile.
Advancing between rivals through the far turn, Red Knight straightened for home three-wide and with clear running room ahead.
Surging to the lead halfway home, the Bill Mott trainee crossed 2 lengths clear while completing the 1 1/2-mile firm turf event in a new stakes record of 2:28.81 (Tide of the Sea set the current track record of 2:26.90 just 8 days ago).
“I saw what was happening around me,” Graham said. “I split two horses and (Red Knight) came right back on the bridle, which was great, and then he accelerated turning for home. Everything went great. He was probably 2 lengths further back than I wanted to be, but it worked out.”
Postulation held second by a head over Ziyad, while North Dakota was just another head back in fourth.
He’s No Lemon necked out Big Agenda for fifth, while behind them came Aquaphobia, Eons, Split the Wickets, and Morning Stride to complete the order of finish.
Red Knight’s win was his first at the graded stakes level and improved his overall record to 21-8-6-1 with $732,158 earned. The 6-year-old New York-bred Pure Prize gelding recently ran a career-best effort in the Kentucky Turf Cup Stakes (G3), where he finished a strong second.
“A wonderful ride by James, a great decision on the turn to split those horses,” said assistant trainer Kenny McCarthy. “And then he really picked the horse up and finished strongly.”
Red Knight returned $6.80 to win, $4 to place, and $3 to show. Postulation brought back $6.80 to place and $4.20 to show, while Ziyad paid $3.40 to show.