Joseph Allen's Apple Betty (IRE), denied victory in this race last year by a nose, left no doubt Sunday as she exploded to a 3½-length victory over Promotional to win the 26th running of the $125,000 Rood & Riddle Dowager (G3) for fillies and mares before a Keeneland Heroes Day presented by Papa John's crowd of 16,650.
Trained by Shug McGaughey and ridden by John Velazquez, Apple Betty covered the 1½ miles on a firm turf course in 2:30.80. It was the second victory in the race for McGaughey, who won the 2010 running with Casablanca Smile (CHI).
Daddy's Boo set an uncontested pace with Daring Duchess tracking in second while Velazquez was giving Apple Betty a ground-saving trip next to the rail in third. Daddy's Boo maintained her lead to the top of the stretch where she left enough room along the rail for Apple Betty to slip through and roar past to eliminate any doubt regarding the outcome.
The victory was worth $75,000 and increased Apple Betty's earnings to $290,619 with a record of 14-5-1-4. It was the first graded stakes victory in the U.S. for Apple Betty, a 4-year-old daughter of Galileo (IRE) out of the Mozart (IRE) mare Absolutelyfabulous.
Apple Betty returned $8, $4.60 and $3.20. Promotional, ridden by Corey Lanerie, returned $7.20 and $4.40 with favored Lottie finishing another 1¼ lengths back in third under Jose Ortiz and paying
$3 to show.
It was another 5¾ lengths back to Grateful in fourth with Coco Channel, Place des Vosges, Daring Duchess, Polar Vortex, Daddy's Boo and Bootsy's Girl following in order.
Racing for the final week of Keeneland's Fall Meet resumes Wednesday with an eight-race program that begins at 1:05 p.m. ET.
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