LOUISVILLE, KY – Jay Em Ess Stable’s homebred Go Google Yourself took over at the top of the stretch, then held on late to win Saturday’s $200,000 Locust Grove Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs.
Breaking from post 7 at 7/2 odds under Brian Hernandez, Jr., Go Google Yourself raced three-wide near the front throughout much of the race, joining Escape Clause to apply pressure on early leader Skeptic through fractions of :24.44, :49.17, and 1:13.42.
Looming large at the top of the stretch, Go Google Yourself slowly advanced to hold a solo lead. Moonlit Garden and Mylady Curlin chased in vain down the stretch, but Go Google Yourself gave them too much work to do. Digging down deep, the Paul McGee trainee hit the wire a neck in front, completing the 1 1/16-mile event over the fast main track in a final time of 1:44.13.
“The race before put a lot of confidence in her,” said Hernandez, Jr. “She’s just a typical mare, she’s getting better with age. The last two races, she’s stepped up her game. Now she’s got a graded stakes in her.”
Moonlit Garden’s rally came up just a bit short, though she was a length clear of the even-money favorite Mylady Curlin for second. Escape Clause faded off of the turn when the real running began, while behind her, Rose of Malibu headed Red Dane for fifth. Pink Sands, Cosmic Burst, and an eased Skeptic completed the order of finish.
Go Google Yourself’s win was her second straight, having won the mile-long Groupie Doll Stakes at Ellis Park on August 11. The 4-year-old daughter of Into Mischief improved her record to 17-6-4-3 with $462,025 earned.
“We had a lot of confidence in her going in,” McGee said. “I think she’s gotten better and her Beyers have shown that. The way she won at Ellis Park last time, by 3 lengths going away, she won pretty easy last time out to get her first stakes win. That’s why we were confident going into today.”
Go Google Yourself returned $9.80 to win, $5 to place, and $3 to show. Moonlit Garden brought back $7.40 to place and $4.20 to show, while Mylady Curlin paid $2.20 to show.