LEXINGTON, KY – Brad Grady’s Triple Chelsea sprung a big upset with an even bigger blaze down the stretch past the heavily-favored Lady Aurelia to take Saturday’s $100,000 Giant’s Causeway Stakes at Keeneland.
Breaking from post 4 under Adam Beschizza, Triple Chelsea stalked the pace down the backside while Morticia set tepid splits of :22.26 and :44.98. While Lady Aurelia overtook the leader in the far turn, Triple Chelsea sat just behind her, then tipped out and took off, reeling in last year’s victor before drawing away convincingly to win by 1 1/2 lengths in a final time of 1:02.40 for the 6-furlong turf sprint.
“The race panned out beautifully,” Beschizza said. “She’s definitely a filly that likes to be in a nice stalking position, and we were following the right horses into the final 1/8. It was just a question of (rousing) her.”
Lady Aurelia fought well to finish second, a length past a tiring Morticia. Excessivespending took fourth over Jennifer Lynnette, Storm the Hill crossed in sixth ahead of There’syourtrouble, and Lady to the Max was in front of Brave Daisey to complete the order of finish. Girls Know Best was scratched.
Triple Chelsea’s victory was her second straight stakes score following the $50,000 Nelson J. Menard Memorial Overnight Stakes at Fair Grounds on March 10. The Joe Sharp-trained 5-year-old daughter of Hat Trick now carries an overall record of 20-8-2-6 with career earnings of $368,789. Sharp claimed her (on behalf of her current owners) for $62,500 last September at Kentucky Downs.
“I watched her replays, and she just looked like a game filly that was very versatile,” Sharp said. “She’s just blossomed since we got her. She was in great condition when we got her and just found her niche. Adam learned her timing and knew she needed to sit off (the pace) a little bit, and today, everything just worked out. I felt she was in as good form as she’s ever been. I wasn’t excited to see Lady Aurelia in the entries, but it worked out.”
Triple Chelsea returned $18.60 to win, $5.20 to place, and $3 to show. Lady Aurelia brought back $2.60 to place and $2.10 to show, while Morticia paid $2.40 to show.