Trinity Farm’s homebred Red Knight surged to the front at midstretch and cruised to a 2-length victory over Postulation to win the 26th running of the $150,000 Sycamore (G3) for 3-year-olds and up on an overcast Thursday afternoon at Keeneland.
Trained by Bill Mott and ridden by James Graham, Red Knight covered the 1½ miles on a firm turf course in 2:28.81 to smash the stakes record of 2:29.55 established by Sharbayan (IRE) in 2003. It is the third victory in the Sycamore for Graham, who won in 2007 aboard Transduction Gold and 2013 on Najjaar.
Postulation led the field of 10 through fractions of :24.84, :51.08, 1:16.04 and 1:40.76 while Red Knight raced near the back of the pack.
On the far turn, Graham angled Red Knight off the rail and began splitting horses. He swung three wide into the stretch, collared Postulation at the eighth pole and drew clear for the victory.
“I saw what was happening around me,” Graham said. “Manny (Franco on Ziyad [GB]) moved out around the backside. Brian (Hernandez)’s horse (Eons) started to come out under pressure, and I split two horses and (Red Knight) came right back on the bridle, which was great. And then he accelerated turning for home. Everything went great. He was probably 2 lengths further back than I wanted to be, but it worked out.”
It was the first graded stakes victory for Red Knight, a 6-year-old New York-bred son of Pure Prize out of the Skip Away mare Isabel Away. The victory was worth $90,000 and increased his earnings to $732,158 with a record of 21-8-6-1.
Sent off as the favorite, Red Knight returned $6.80, $4 and $3. Postulation, ridden by Julien Leparoux, returned $6.80 and $4.20 and finished a head in front of Ziyad (GB) who paid $3.40 to show under Manny Franco.
It was another head back to North Dakota who was followed in order by He’s No Lemon, Big Agenda, Aquaphobia, Eons, Split the Wickets and Morning Stride.
Racing continues Friday with a 10-day program beginning at 1:05 p.m. ET and featuring the 30th running of the $150,000 Pin Oak Valley View (G3) for 3-year-old fillies going 1 1/16 miles on the turf. The Pin Oak Valley View will be run as the ninth race with a 5:30 p.m. post time.
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