LEXINGTON, KY (April 8, 2016) – Richard Hogan and Dan Gale’s Shakhimat took the lead out of the gate, spurted away from his pursuers in the upper stretch and drew off to win the 28th running of the $100,000 Transylvania (G3) Presented by Keeneland Select for 3-year-olds by 3 1/4 lengths over J R’s Holiday before a chilled Spring Meet opening-day crowd of 12,013.
Emma-Jayne Wilson posted her first Keeneland stakes victory on Shakhimat, who is trained by Roger Attfield. It was the second Transylvania victory for Attfield, who saddled Izvestia to win the 1990 running.
Shakimat took the lead at the break and led the field of eight through uncontested fractions of :23.54, :47.84 and 1:12.61. Turning for home, Shakhimat still owned a daylight advantage and quickly improved on that margin to comfortably prevail.
A Keeneland sales graduate, Shakhimat covered the 1 1/16 miles on a turf course rated as good in 1:42.65. The victory was worth $60,000 and increased Shakhimat’s earnings to $222,494 with a record of 4-3-0-1.
Shakhimat, a 3-year-old Canadian-bred son of Lonhro (AUS) out of the Touch Gold mare Reggae Rose, was making his first start since November, when he won the Coronation Futurity at Woodbine.
Shakhimat returned $14.20, $6.60 and $5. J R’s Holiday, ridden by Emisael Jaramillo, returned $6.20 and $4.20 with Inspector Lynley finishing another half-length back in third under Florent Geroux and paying $3.80 to show.
Converge finished a nose back in fourth and was followed in order by favored Catapult, One Mean Man, Prime Time Man and Sorryaboutnothing.
On Saturday, Keeneland will offer a carryover of $7,915.12 in the Pick 6 and a Super High 5 carryover of $6,277.35.
The 92nd running of the $1 million Toyota Blue Grass (G1) highlights an 11-race program Saturday that features five stakes, three of them Grade 1. First post Saturday is 12:35 p.m. ET with the Toyota Blue Grass going as the 10th race with a 6 p.m. post time.