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Merneith Wears Down Motivated Seller In Fort Springs
Credit: Coady Photography

Merneith Wears Down Motivated Seller In Fort Springs

LEXINGTON, KY – Prince Sultan Bin Mishal Al Saud’s Merneith gradually wore down Motivated Seller late in the stretch to win Saturday’s $125,000 Qatar Fort Springs Stakes at Keeneland.

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Merneith and jockey Luis Saez broke from post 7 at 9/2 odds and sat off near the rear while remaining in the clear.

Rising Seas went to the lead and posted opening fractions of :21.91 and :45.15 while Ain’t No Elmers kept her company along the rail.

Rising Seas advanced while cornerning and held a multiple-length advantage at the top of the stretch, but Motivated Seller and Merneith were charging after her down the middle of the lane.

Motivated Seller met Rising Seas at the 1/8 pole and took a narrow lead by the 1/16 pole, but Merneith’s slow, steady grind eventually put her in front in the shadow of the wire.

Trained by Bob Baffert, Merneith crossed a neck the best while completing the 6-furlong fast dirt sprint in 1:09.35.

Credit: Coady Photography

Motivated Seller was 1 1/4 lengths ahead of Rising Seas for second, while Fair Maiden was 4 1/4 lengths further back in fourth.

Wicked Whisper, Ain’t No Elmers, Anna’s FastMiss T Too, and Boerne completed the order of finish.

Artie’s Princess and Regal Beauty were scratched from the field restricted to 3-year-old fillies.

Merneith’s win was her first at the stakes level and improved her overall record to 8-3-3-1. The daughter of 2015 Triple Crown and Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) champion American Pharoah, purchased for $600,000 as an unraced juvenile, has now earned $201,900.

Merneith returned $11.20 to win, $6 to place, and $4.60 to show. Motivated Seller brought back $5 to place and $3.40 to show, while Rising Seas paid $12 to show.

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