Morsches Stable's Gentle Ruler shot to the front at midstretch and easily held off Elysea's World (IRE) by 2½ lengths to win the 28th running of the $125,000 Rood & Riddle Dowager (G3) for fillies and mares before a Sunday afternoon crowd of 14,735 at Keeneland.
Trained by Ian Wilkes and ridden by Chris Landeros, Gentle Ruler covered 1½ miles on a turf course labeled as firm in 2:31.95. It is the first victory in the race for Wilkes and Landeros.
Beach Flower led the field of 12 through fractions of :26.10, :52.42 and 1:18.16 with Sea Dream (BRZ), Touriga (BRZ) and Decorating in closest pursuit and Landeros giving Gentle Ruler a ground-saving trip near the back of the pack.
At the head of the stretch, Sea Dream and Decorating emerged on top while behind them, Gentle Ruler moved off the rail into the three path, collared the leaders at the eighth pole and drew clear for the victory.
The victory was worth $75,000 and the Keeneland sales graduate's earnings rose to $718,453 with a record of 18-6-3-5. The triumph was the sixth in the past seven starts for the 4-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Colonel John out of the Cozzene mare Winikins.
Gentle Ruler returned $6.20, $3.20 and $2.80 as the slight favorite over Elysea's World, who returned $3.60 and $2.80 under Javier Castellano. Decorating, who finished another 1¼ lengths back in third under Feargal Lynch, paid $9.20 to show.
Get Explicit finished another neck back in fourth and was followed in order by Touriga, Ambitious Moon, Lemoona, Over Thinking, Sea Dream, Vevina, Icy Calm and Beach Flower.
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