Reddam Racing’s Handsome Mike
and Silverton Hill’s Havelock
posted Grade 3 victories with triumphs in the 27th
running of the $175,000 Commonwealth Stakes and the 17th
running of the $100,000 Shakertown Stakes, respectively.
In the Commonwealth, Handsome Mike put away a stubborn Gantry in deep
stretch to prevail by 1¼ lengths. Handsome Mike completed seven
furlongs on the main track in 1:23.14 and earned $108,500 to boost his
career earnings to $880,530 with a record of 16-3-1-1.
Trained by Doug O’Neill and ridden by Mario Gutierrez, Handsome Mike
and Gantry led the field of five through fractions of :23.22 and :46.31.
The two leaders turned into the stretch as a team with Handsome Mike
slowly pulling clear to give Gutierrez his first Keeneland victory.
A four-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Scat Daddy out of the Smart
Strike mare Classic Strike, Handsome Mike posted his first victory since
winning the 2012 Pennsylvania Derby (G2).
Handsome Mike returned $9.40, $4.40 and $2.80. Gantry, ridden by
Richard Eramia, returned $4.20 and $2.80 with Candyman E, who finished
1½ lengths back under Joe Bravo, returning $2.80. Bind and Bernie the
Maestro completed the field in order.
In the Shakertown, Havelock found room next to the rail and rallied
through a small opening to get up in time to edge Something Extra by a
nose in a blanket finish in which the first five finishers were
separated by less than a length.
Havelock, a six-year-old Maryland homebred son of Great Notion out of
the Spectacular Love mare Pinoneach (NZ), covered 5½ furlongs on a firm
turf course in 1:03.02 to earn $60,000. Winner of the 2011 Woodford
Stakes (G3) here in 2011, Havelock improved his record to 21-8-0-3 and
boosted his earnings to $525,491.
Perfect Officer and Berlino Di Tiger (BRZ) led the field of nine
through an opening quarter-mile in :21.75 with Havelock at the rear of
the field. The leaders remained unchanged at the head of the stretch
with a number of challengers stacking up on their flanks.
Gomez waited until midstretch before diving toward the rail,
squeezing through and striking the front a few yards from the wire. It
was the second Shakertown victory for Gomez, who won the race in 2006
with Atticus Kristy.
Havelock returned $18.60, $7.80 and $4.80. Something Extra, ridden by
Julien Leparoux, returned $4 and $2.60 with defending race champion
Perfect Officer finishing third, a head back under Javier Castellano,
and paying $3 to show.
Finishing a neck back in fourth was Canuletmedowneasy, who was
followed in order by Next Question, Hogy, Regally Ready, Berlino Di
Tiger and China.