Wes Welker and Sol Kumin's Undrafted got a well-timed ride by Joe Bravo to be up in the final strides of Saturday's Grade 2 Shakertown Stakes, prevailing by about a length. The 6-year-old son of Purim covered 5 1/2 furlongs over Keeneland's turf course rated “good” in 1:02.96 for trainer Wesley Ward.
“He's a really neat little horse and he loves it here at Keeneland,” said Ward. “Before his races, he gets all charged up, no matter where he is. Kind of like his owner (co-owner Wes Welker): a little guy, but tough. Last winter, we came into this race (in 2015, when he finished third) a little compromised by the weather, as he stayed here all winter. This year, it was a really good winter and we never missed a work. He was ready to go.”
Settled into stride at the back of the pack in the early stakes, Undrafted waited patiently for his cue from Bravo. On the front end, Latent Revenge set the first quarter-mile's pace in a quick :20.73 with pressure from Something Extra and Rocket Heat along the outside. Nearing the head of the lane, Rocket Heat took command briefly before Something Extra came up the outside and drew off by nearly three lengths. A wall of runners came up behind last year's Shakertown winner Something Extra, and Undrafted proved he was the best of the pack when he exploded past late, winning by about a length. Something Extra hung on for second over Commute and Summation Time.
“(Undrafted) knows what he's doing,” said Bravo. “The best thing for me to do is stay out of his way. Wesley gave me one instruction: Get him out and clear. That's all we had to do. He just exploded turning for home. It's pretty fun when you have a horse jump underneath you like that. He makes everyone around him look good.”
Bred in Kentucky by Catesby Clay Investment, Undrafted was a $50,000 Keeneland September purchase. Now he has six wins from 23 lifetime starts, boasting career earnings of $1.25 million.
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