Globe-trotting Utley got up late under Edgar Prado at 7-1 to win the Grade 2 Longines Dixie Stakes by a length at Pimlico Race Course on Saturday.
The winner sat well off a pace set by Fredericksburg, who ran through fractions of :23.87, :47.90, and 1:12.54. Hey Leroy finished second, while Chamois came in third. The final time for the mile and a sixteenth was 1:43.88.
Utley paid out $17.00, $7.40, and $5.00 to win. Hey Leroy was $4.60 and $3.40 to place, while Chamois paid $5.60 to show.
Trained by Jonathan Sheppard, this was Utley's first win since an allowance score at Keeneland in April of last year. In addition to America, he has made starts in Britain, France, and Dubai.
Utley is a homebred for owner Augustin Stable. Bred in Kentucky, he is by leading sire Smart Strike and out of the Nureyev mare No Matter What.
Read the full Equibase chart here.
Quotes from connections:
Winning assistant trainer Keri Brion (Utley): “I was on the phone with (trainer) Jonathan (Sheppard) and I said, 'Can you believe that?' He was watching the race on tape delay and he said, 'What happened?' I said, 'We won it, we won it.' He's just been kind of a bad luck kind of horse. He's hard-trying and this race was kind of a step up. He ran a very nice race two weeks ago at Churchill Downs, and Jonathan thought, 'Why not take a shot?' He really took to the soft turf.”
Winning jockey Edgar Prado (Utley): “Jonathan was very confident to bring this horse to this race. The horse has been training well and he thought he would have a good chance and he proved that he was right. I got a beautiful trip and I was able to go inside and save ground in both turns, angle out in the stretch and he finished real well. Jonathan did a super job to get this horse ready.”
Jockey Javier Castellano (Hey Leroy): “We had a good trip. We wanted to be close and on the inside to save ground. My horse responded very well. He just could not hold off the winner.”
Assistant trainer Christophe Lorieul (Chamois): “It was a bit ambitious coming here today because he hasn't run in a while. We came here today because the ground was to his liking. He's a bit one-paced and I thought he would run well today because we had him ready. We were a bit more forward than I thought we would be, but he ran well all the way to the end. When the horses came to him, he came back again and just missed second.”
Jockey Joe Bravo (Chamois): “He was really, really nice, pulling me along consistently. He wanted to open it up a little bit, but I kind of wanted to wait a little bit and play it smart – probably a little bit too smart for his own good today.”
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