LEXINGTON, KY – Running without blinkers for the first time since May, Ivar proved the move to be a success as he kicked clear in the stretch to win Saturday’s $750,000 Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes (G1) at Keeneland.
The Shadwell Turf Mile is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” event, with Ivar receiving an automatic berth in the FanDuel Mile Presented by the Permanently Disabled Jockey Fund (PDJF) at Keeneland this November.
Ivar broke from the far outside post 11 under Joe Talamo at 11/1 odds, Ivar allowed most of the field to get ahead of him before tucking in and sitting near the rear while running two-wide.
Casa Creed broke quickly from the rail and outkicked Born Great for the lead heading into the clubhouse turn, then posted opening fractions of :23.44, :47.39, and 1:11.13.
Still in seventh as the field rounded the far turn and straightened for home, Ivar kicked into high gear near the 3/16 pole and flew past his rivals, taking over inside the 1/8 pole before clearing off to win.
The Paulo Lobo trainee crossed 1 length ahead of the 3/1 second choice Raging Bull while completing the firm turf mile in 1:33.99.
“Down the backside, he got in such a good rhythm, was so relaxed,” Talamo said. “Congratulations to Paolo. He did a great job training this horse, (changing) his tactics. … He took the blinkers off. Just an incredible training job on his part to get this horse to turn off like that. I was all smiles turning for home when I took him out there. He just exploded.”
Raging Bull – also running without blinkers for the first time in several starts – rallied from last to take second by 3/4 of a length over Without Parole, while Casa Creed faded to fourth, just a neck past Flavius.
Parlor nosed out Bowies Hero for sixth, while the 2/1 favorite Analyze It outkicked only Born Great to complete the order of finish.
Halladay and Spectacular Gem were scratched.
The Brazilian-bred Ivar’s win was his first North American-based graded score and improved his career record to 7-5-0-1 with $579,413 earned for co-owners Stud Rio Dois Irmaos (who also bred him) and Bonne Chance Farm. The 4-year-old Agnes Gold colt, foaled on October 4, 2016, won all 3 starts in 2019 while racing in Argentina, including a pair of 6-length scores against Grade/Group 1 rivals.
“We were very worried about the post position, but his style, if you see his races in Argentina, he always comes from off the pace – way off the pace,” Lobo said. “Today, it worked very well. I was very concerned because of the first turn. Joe rode him 100% magnificent.”
Ivar returned $30.80 to win, $12.40 to place, and $8.80 to show. Raging Bull brought back $4.40 to place and $3.40 to show, while Without Parole paid $5.40 to show.