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Najjaar Hugs the Rail in Sycamore

keeneland start
Shadwell Stable’s Najjaar, benefiting from a ground-saving trip from jockey James Graham, edged favored Eagle Poise by three-quarters of a length to win the 19th running of $100,000 Sycamore (G3) at 1 5/8 miles before a crowd of 9,101 on a Thursday afternoon at Keeneland.

Trained by Danny Peitz, Najjaar raced in the second tier to the inside of Tricky Hat (CHI) as Reflecting set the pace while being tracked by Eagle Poise through fractions of :26.42, :51.63, 1:17.10 and 1:42.12.

Approaching the head of the stretch as Reflecting began to tire, Eagle Poise moved to the lead with Tricky Hat and a fast-closing Suntracer in close pursuit. Graham waited with Najjaar, who slipped between Reflecting and Eagle Poise and dropped to the rail, gaining the lead at the eighth pole and completing the distance on the main track in 2:41.49. Because of rain, the race was moved off the turf.

The victory was the second for Graham in the Sycamore. His other victory came in 2007 on Transduction Gold.

Najjaar is a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Jazil out of the Darshaan mare Hasheema (IRE). It marked the first stakes win for Najjaar, whose record improved to 16-3-4-4 with earnings of $237,972.

Najjaar returned $11.80, $5.40 and $3.40. Eagle Poise, ridden by Joe Rocco Jr., returned $3.60 and $2.60 with Tricky Hat finishing a neck back in third under Rosie Napravnik and returning $2.80 to show.

Suntracer finished a head back in fourth and was followed in order by Olympic Thunder (BRZ) and Reflecting.


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