LEXINGTON, KY – JSM Equine’s Peace Achieved shot to the lead at the top of the stretch and managed to hold sway over a game Vitalogy late to win Sunday’s $250,000 Dixiana Bourbon Stakes (G3) at Keeneland.
The Bourbon is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” event, with Peace Achieved receiving an automatic berth in the Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita Park this November.
Breaking from post 10 under Miguel Mena at 8/1 odds, Peace Achieved was forwardly-placed heading into the clubhouse turn, ultimately sitting just slightly behind the early lead in second. Ahead of him, Field Pass posted opening fractions of :23.20, :47.60, and 1:12.55 while Peace Achieved kept close watch.
Midway through the far turn, Field Pass floated out off of the rail enough to allow Gear Jockey a chance to shoot in underneath him and take a slight lead. Peace Achieved fought back and took over near the 1/16 pole.
Continuing to kick away in the stretch, Peace Achieved had enough left to hold off a late-running Vitalogy to win by a neck. The Mark Casse-trained colt finished the 1/16-mile event over the firm turf course in a final time of 1:43.06.
“The boss mentioned the inside being a little softer than the outside, so we had a great post position,” Mena said. “He came out of there running and I just stayed a little wider for better ground. He was the best horse today. He’s very nice.”
After drifting in the stretch, Vitalogy found his best footing late and was able to take second over Gear Jockey by a length. Field Pass faded in the stretch but held fourth by a neck over Fighting Seabee, while Nettleton, Art Collector, Ete Indien, and Kid Mercury were all within a length behind him.
Further back came The Third Secret, Deviant, Doc Boy, Prince of Thieves, and Hurts So Good to complete the order of finish.
Peace Achieved’s win was his third straight, having broken his maiden at Ellis Park before winning the Gainesway Farm Juvenile Stakes at Kentucky Downs. The 2-year-old son of Declaration of War has now earned $480,444 after being purchased for $160,000 as a yearling.
“Horses are like anybody,” Casse said. “You start winning, and it helps. He’s gotten better and better. I think he’ll like Santa Anita. I’m not going to bring him out until maybe a week before. We’ve had pretty good luck going west, and most of the time, it’s five or six days out (from the race), so we’re not going to change that.”
Peace Achieved returned $19.80 to win, $8.80 to place, and $6.40 to show. Vitalogy brought back $6 to place and $4.40 to show, while Gear Jockey paid $6.40 to show.