Unconquerable Keen Presses Pace & Takes $71,000 Santa Anita Allowance Feature By One Length
UNCONQUERABLE KEEN PRESSES PACE & TAKES FRIDAY’S $71,000 SANTA ANITA ALLOWANCE FEATURE BY ONE LENGTH, IRISH-BRED GETS 5 ½ PANELS ON TURF IN 1:02.65
ARCADIA, CA (Oct. 20, 2023)—One of two Phil D’Amato-trained entrants, Unconquerable Keen pressed the pace and ultimately prevailed under Joe Bravo as he gradually overtook Richard Mandella’s speedy Sumter to take Santa Anita’s $71,000 allowance feature by one length. Bred in Ireland, 4-year-old gelding Unconquerable Keen got 5 ½ furlongs on turf in 1:02.65.
Second, a half length off the lead three furlongs out, Unconquerable Keen drew alongside Sumter turning for home, but Sumter, ridden by Umberto Rispoli, fought back gamely to his inside. Although he was a bit erratic, Unconquerable Keen gained the advantage inside the sixteenth pole and went on to a decisive victory.
“I expected this horse to be up closer today, that was our game plan,” said D’Amato. “He broke a little flat-footed, but Joe got him right into the race in a good position. I was just trying to see if my other horse (eventual third-place finisher Turn On The Jets) was going to be able to get out and make a run, but Joe rode ‘Keen” perfectly. This was his game plan in the paddock and it worked out.”
Most recently seventh beaten 3 ½ lengths going about 6 ½ furlongs out of the turf chute in the Grade II Eddie D Stakes Sept. 30, Unconquerable Keen was the third choice in a field of five 3-year-olds and up at 7-2 and paid $9.40, $4.20 and $2.40.
In a gutty effort, Sumter just managed to hold off Turn On The Jets for the place and paid $5.00 and $2.20 while off at 3-1.
Turn On The Jets, who was full of run while pocketed at the rail around the turn, surged late but ran out of real estate under Antonio Fresu. The favorite at 4-5, he paid $2.10 to show.
Fractions on the race were 22.18, 44.94 and 56.74.
First post time for a nine-race card on Saturday is a 1 p.m. with admission gates opening at 11 a.m.