LEXINGTON, KY – After languishing near the rear early, Hronis Racing’s Ginger Nut snapped past her foes in the stretch to win the inaugural running of the Limestone Turf Sprint Stakes at Keeneland on Friday.
Breaking from the rail under Joel Rosario at 7/2 odds, Ginger Nut was a step slow and had to gather herself quickly after she found herself trailing. Meanwhile, Snow Blossom held the slim early lead through an opening 1/4-mile in :21.96 down the backstretch. Still saving ground near the rear as they made the far turn, Rosario tipped Ginger Nut out midway through and turned for home running six-wide. Set down for the stretch run with nobody to impede her, Ginger Nut swept past much of her competition with ease but had a difficult time getting past new leader Stillwater Cove.
The pair engaged briefly at the 1/16 pole, but Ginger Nut dug in and pulled away in the shadow of the wire. The John Sadler trainee crossed with a 1 1/4-length advantage in a final time of 1:03.53 for the 5 1/2-furlong event over a turf course rated good.
Despite yielding late, Stillwater Cove was 3 1/2 lengths clear of her Wesley Ward stablemate Chelsea Cloisters, who just held onto third by a nose over a fast-closing Beechwood Ella. There was a similar close finish for fifth, with Thriving holding off Bohemian Bourbon by a head. The 9/5 favorite Play On chased the early pace but couldn’t hold on when the real running began and weakened steadily to seventh. Blame the Frog, Raintree Starlet, Weabie, a spent Snow Blossom, and Elle’s Town completed the order of finish.
My Gal Betty, O’Keeffe, and Vinca were scratched.
Ginger Nut’s win was her first since Hronis Racing privately purchased her last fall and placed her in Sadler’s care. The 3-year-old Irish-bred daughter of Sir Prancealot, who won three times as a juvenile, improved her overall record to 10-4-2-1 with $301,088 earned.
Ginger Nut returned $9.80 to win, $4.80 to place, and $3.20 to show. Stillwater Cove brought back $8.40 to place and $4.80 to show, while Chelsea Cloisters paid $3 to show.