ROYAL NORTH S. | PURSE: $142,111 | 3-YEAR-OLDS & UP | FILLIES & MARES | GRADE 3 | 6 FURLONGS (TURF)
Lael Stables' Ageless showed her sprinting prowess on turf for the third straight time this season when taking the $142,111 Royal North Stakes in a course-record equaling time on the turf July 27 at Woodbine.
Reserved off a swift early pace set by Goldstryke Glory, Ageless unfurled a swift turn of foot in the stretch to collar the leader at the sixteenth pole and stayed on strongly to repel the late charge of runner-up Sky Treasure. Ridden by Luis Garcia, Ageless, the 5-2 favorite in a field of nine fillies and mares, won by a half-length and covered six furlongs on the E. P. Taylor Turf Course in 1:07.39. The clocking tied the mark of Starticus set on July 5, 2008.
Goldstryke Glory hung on for third, 3 ¾ lengths behind Sky Treasure.
A 5-year-old daughter of Successful Appeal, Ageless showed an affinity for turf when trainer Arnaud Delacour tried her on the surface for the first time in an allowance/optional claiming race last November at Laurel Park. The result was a victory and she has been kept on the lawn in all four starts this season, going undefeated in her three most recent starts, including the Royal North as the 2-1 favorite.
Ageless came in off a victory in The Very One Stakes, in which she rallied from ninth to take the five-furlong turf sprint May 17 at Pimlico Race Course. That race followed her breakthrough stakes triumph in the listed Giant's Causeway, also a five-furlong grass sprint, April 19 at Keeneland.
Ageless, who earned her first graded win in the Royal North, improved her overall record to 7-2-2 from 13 career starts and $348,154.
Goldstryke Glory set a pressure pace with Ageless in pursuit in fourth through fractions of :21.73 seconds, :43.66 seconds through the first quarter-mile. Goldstryke Glory led by two lengths mid-stretch but Ageless reeled her in when Garcia gave the cue.
Seventh in the nine-horse field through a half-mile, Sky Treasure was angled out for the stretch run and tried desperately to overtake the winner but came up short.
Ageless, under co-top weight of 122 pounds, returned $7.10, $4.20, and $2.80 while Sky Treasure returned $9.60 and $5.20. Goldstryke Gold brought $3.30.
Blessed One was fourth, followed by Silent Treat, Unhedged, Youcan'tcatchme, Liz Pendens, and Richies Party Girl to complete the order of finish.
Ageless was bred in Kentucky by Hinkle Farms. Offered in her breeder's consignment at the 2010 Keeneland September yearling sale, she was bought by Nicoma, agent, on behalf of Lael Stables for $130,000.
Her dam is the Point Given mare Special One, whose three winners from as many starters also include stakes winner Special Warrior, by Majestic Warrior. Notable members of the extended family include multiple Grade 1 winner and sire Zensational.