Katsumi Yoshida's The Mackem Bullet found the winner's circle in her fourth start in the United States, kicking away to win Sunday's G2 Appalachian Stakes at Keeneland by a length. The 3-year-old daughter of Society Rock was ridden by Tyler Gaffalione and sent to post at odds of 6-1 after making two winter starts on the synthetic at Turfway Park. Trained by Wesley Ward, The Mackem Bullet covered a mile over the soft turf course in 1:39.31.
“She's really done well here over the winter,” Ward said. “I always thought she'd probably prefer the grass. She had a beautiful breeze here last week over the grass. There was a little question mark about the surface today but I spoke to (previous) trainer Brian Ellison in England twice and he assured me she'd be OK, and she was.”
Regal Glory was making up ground late and held second, while Princesa Carolina finished third.
Catch a Thrill led the field of 11 through fractions of :24.14, :49.21 and 1:14.72 with The Mackem Bullet in closest pursuit. Once in the stretch, The Mackem Bullet shot past and had more than enough left to hold off Regal Glory.
The Mackem Bullet returned $15.20, $6.80 and $4.60. Regal Glory, ridden by Jose Ortiz, returned $4.60 and $3.20 with Princesa Carolina finishing another 2¼ lengths back in third under Brian Hernandez Jr. and paying $4.40 to show.
Hard Legacy finished another three-quarters of a length back in fourth and was followed in order by Winning Envelope, Primela (FR), Catch a Thrill, favored Clause, Angel Alessandra, Naughty Joker and Beautiful Ballad.
Bred in Ireland by Tally-Ho Stud, The Mackem Bullet was an $11,633 yearling purchase at the Goffs Silver sale. She placed in Group stakes three times in Europe under the care of Brian Ellison, then finished sixth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. The Mackem Bullet was then transferred to the care of Ward, and won an allowance race at Turfway and finished fourth in a listed stakes against males. Overall the filly's record stands at 3-2-2 from 10 starts for earnings of $300,000.
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