G M B Racing's Tom's d'Etat didn't let Saturday's rainy weather stop him from adding an eighth career victory to his resume. The 6-year-old son of Smart Strike kicked away late to win the G2 Fayette Stakes at Keeneland by about four lengths, giving jockey Joel Rosario his fourth win on the card.
Trained by Al Stall, Jr. and sent to post as the 3-2 favorite, Tom's d'Etat covered nine furlongs over the sloppy main track in 1:49.17.
“We always thought he was the right kind of horse,” Stall said. “He's been deserving of a Grade 2 or a Grade 1 maybe next month (in the $600,000 Clark Presented by Norton Healthcare on Nov. 29 at Churchill Downs), so here we are.”
Mr Freeze led a five-way battle for the early lead heading into the clubhouse turn, but his inside post gave him the advantage and he straightened into the backstretch with a 3/4-length advantage over Tom's d'Etat. Those two battled through early fractions of :23.53 and :47.81, with Tom's d'Etat prompting Mr Freeze every step of the way.
Mocito Rojo and Bal Harbour were also a part of the early pace, but Bal Harbour backed off first and then came back between horses to be three-wide in the backstretch after he had been five-wide on the first turn.
Tom's d'Etat grabbed the lead mid-way through the far turn, but he was unable to shake the stubborn Mr Freeze. The 5-1 shot gamely gave chase into the stretch, but Tom's d'Etat changed leads and got clear near the eighth pole. At the wire, Tom's d'Etat was about four lengths in front of Mr Freeze. Bal Harbour could do no better than third, while Own Agenda checked in fourth.
“He broke sharp, and I sent him to the lead early,” said Rosario. “He can just sit there and when you ask him, he will keep going.”
Bred in Kentucky by SF Bloodstock, Tom's d'Etat is out of the Giant's Causeway mare Julia Tuttle. He was a $330,000 yearling purchase at the Keeneland September sale, and made his debut as a 3-year-old. Tom's d'Etat had a lengthy layoff between July of 2017 and November of 2018, but returned to win an allowance race and then his first stakes at the end of his 5-year-old season in the Fair Grounds' Tenacious.
Tom's d'Etat then ran ninth in the G1 Pegasus World Cup, and placed this year in multiple graded contests. The Fayette is his first graded stakes win, and improves his overall record to eight wins from 15 starts for earnings of over $850,000.
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