MAKER'S 46 MILE STAKES | PURSE: $300,000 | 4-YEAR-OLDS & UP | GRADE 1 | 1 MILE (TURF)
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Data Link got a perfectly timed ride from Alex Solis when notching the first stakes victory of his career in posting a 12-1 upset in the 24th running of the Grade 1, $300,000 Maker's 46 Mile on a seasonal Friday afternoon at Keeneland.
Trained by Shug McGaughey for breeder-owner Stuart Janney III, Data Link was up in the final strides to nail Turallure, the 7-5 favorite, by a neck on the wire. Doubles Partner was just a half-length back in the field of six older turf runners, while Get Stormy, the pacesetter and 9-5 favorite, was another neck back in fourth.
Data Link had won four of his nine prior starts while earning a check but failing to win in two stakes attempts. He returned $27.20 after finishing in 1:34.31 over firm turf.
"I've kind of had this in my mind at Gulfstream, and after his last race, Alex said 'That's fine,' " said McGaughey, the Hall of Fame trainer and Kentucky native who was a force here in the early 1980s before moving to New York. "When they got to the quarter pole and I saw where he was, I thought he had a chance. I thought he would kick, and he did."
Before an ontrack crowd of 19,730, Get Stormy set fractions of 23.05 seconds, 47.02, and 1:11.21 and actually had a clear lead approaching the eighth pole before the others came calling. Turallure, ridden by Julien Leparoux when making his first start since being beaten in a tight photo in the $3 million Breeders' Cup Mile in early November, appeared to have the race won when surging past Get Stormy as Doubles Partner also was making steady headway closest to the rail. But it was the late surge from the outside by Data Link that got the $180,000 first prize.
"Around the half-mile pole I saw where Julien was on the favorite, and I thought we would track him," Solis said. "At the quarter-mile pole, he was in a good position, and he did his thing."
After the top four came Pressday and Hollinger. Big Blue Kitten was an early scratch.
The $2 exacta (7-6) paid $85.20, the $1 trifecta (7-6-1) was worth $139.10, and the dime superfecta (7-6-1-5) paid $23.98.