George Michaels’ favored Luke of York overcame a slow start, rallying in deep stretch to edge Voodoo Daddy by a nose with Larry Zip another nose back in third to remain undefeated in two starts.
Trained by James DiVito and ridden by Rajiv Maragh, Luke of York was pinched back at the break by Sarge Hudson as longshot D’ Wildcat Road led a contested pace through fractions of :21.98 and :44.83. Maragh moved Luke of York to the rail to save ground and caught the lead pack on the far turn.
In the stretch, Voodoo Daddy assumed command late on the outside and Larry Zip rallied along the rail only to have Luke of York split the two in the shadow of the wire to complete the six furlongs on the main track in 1:09.56.
A Florida-bred son of Put It Back out of the Meadow Monster mare Gion, Luke of York improved his career bankroll to $96,336 with Saturday’s $75,000 check. The stakes victory was the second at Keeneland for DiVito, who won the 2000 Perryville with Smokin Pete.
Luke of York returned $6.80, $3.80 and $3. Voodoo Daddy, ridden by Julien Leparoux, returned $4 and $3 with Larry Zip paying $3.60 to show under James Graham.
Completing the field in order were Italo, D’ Wildcat Road, Sheriff Silverstar, Sarge Hudson, Canigotoo and Norm’s Passion.