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LEXINGTON, KY – His Highness the Aga Khan Studs hombred Tarnawa proved absolutely terrific as she toppled several of the world’s best grass runners in Saturday’s $4 million Breeders’ Cup Longines Turf (G1) at Keeneland.
Tarnawa and replacement rider Colin Keane (who took the mount after Christophe Soumillon tested positive for COVID-19) broke a little awkwardly from post 3 as the 9/2 third choice and sat at the rear of the field.
Channel Maker hustled to the lead out of the gate and set a measured tempo, posting fractions of :25.57, :51.06, 1:15.99, and 1:40.52 through the opening mile while last year’s runner-up United kept close watch.
Channel Maker opened up as he led the field through the far turn for the second time and straightened for home with a sizeable advantage, but Tarnawa was hustling down the center of the course with gusto.
Sweeping past Channel Maker and the 2/1 favorite Magical to take the lead at the 1/16 pole, Tarnawa proved much the best, crossing a length clear while completing the 1 1/2-mile firm turf route in 2:28.02.
“Pretty straightforward, to be honest,” Keane replied when asked what instructions trainer Dermot Weld gave him. “Mr. Weld said get her out the gates and ride her as you find her. I spoke to Oisin Orr (who had ridden her previously) and he said she’s very straightforward. We just tipped away down the back straight, then we got going before the bend, then off she went. We got a clean run then and she was very good to the line.”
Magical’s finish mirrored her same result in the 2018 edition of this race, taking runner-up honors behind another world-class female turfer. Channel Maker finished third, just a nose behind Magical.
Lord North, Mogul, Arklow, Mehdaayih, United, Red King, and Donjah completed the order of finish.
Tarnawa’s win was her fourth from as many starts this year, the latter 3 all at the Grade/Group 1 level, and improved her overall record to 14-8-2-2. The Irish-bred 4-year-old Shamardal filly has now earned $2,868,503 after giving Weld his first Breeders’ Cup victory.
Tarnawa returned $11.40 to win, $5.40 to place, and $4 to show. Magical brought back $4 to place and $2.80 to show, while Channel Maker paid $5.60 to show.
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