Ten Broeck Farm's Chanteline surged to the lead inside the sixteenth pole and held off a late bid from favored Belvoir Bay (GB) by three-quarters of a length to win the 22nd running of the $100,000 Buffalo Trace Franklin County (G3) for fillies and mares before a Friday afternoon crowd of 17,192 at Keeneland.
Trained by Steve Asmussen and ridden by Ricardo Santana Jr., Chanteline covered the 5½ furlongs on a firm turf course in 1:02.89. It was the first Keeneland stakes victory for Santana and sixth for Asmussen, the trainer's first since 2007.
Chanteline, a Keeneland sales graduate, is cataloged as a racing or broodmare prospect as Hip 34 in Keeneland's November Breeding Stock Sale, which begins Nov. 5.
Girls Know Best claimed the lead out of the gate and opened a daylight advantage on the field of 13 through an opening quarter of :21.30 with Brielle's Appeal and Smiling Causeway in closest pursuit.
Girls Know Best was still in front after a half-mile in :44.76 with Chanteline just in behind the leading pack. In the stretch Santana found room four wide for clear sailing, eventually hitting the front inside the sixteenth pole and having enough left to fend off Belvoir Bay, who was closing on the rail.
A 6-year-old Kentucky-bred mare, Chanteline is a daughter of Majesticperfection out of the Indian Charlie mare Listen to Libby. Friday's $60,000 winner's check boosted her earnings to $584,972 with a record of 26-9-7-3. It is her first graded stakes victory.
Chanteline returned $8.60, $4.40 and $3.20, Belvoir Bay, ridden by Flavien Prat, returned $4 and $2.80 and finished a half-length in front of defending champion Morticia, who paid $3.80 to show under Jose Lezcano.
It was another neck back to Girls Know Best in fourth with Delectation (GB), Excessivespending, Aiken to Be, Smiling Causeway, Con Te Partiro, On Probation, Country Chick, Brielle's Appeal and Miss Gossip (IRE) following in order.
Racing continues Saturday with a 10-race program beginning at 1:05 p.m. ET with the highlight being the 35th running of the $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Presented by Lane's End (G1) for 3-year-old fillies going 1 1/8 miles on the turf. Post time for the QE II, the afternoon's ninth race, is 5:30 p.m.
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