Spendthrift Farm’s homebred Moonwalk, dismissed at 36-1 odds, held off Kitten’s Point by a nose to win the 22nd running of the $150,000 JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (Grade 3) for 2-year-old fillies before a crowd of 10,051 at Keeneland.
Trained by Dale Romans and ridden by Corey Lanerie, Moonwalk earned a berth in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) to be run November 2 at Santa Anita with the victory. It was the first victory in the race for Romans and Lanerie.
Moonwalk ran the 1 1/16 miles on a firm turf course in 1:45.17 and increased her bankroll to $122,150 with the $90,000 winner’s check. The daughter of Malibu Moon out of the Red Ransom mare Lucinda K, who was offered at the 2011 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, improved her record to 4-2-1-1.
Sunset Time, ridden by Julio Garcia, led the field of 11 through early fractions of :23.89, :49.56 and 1:15.26 with Moonwalk in closest pursuit. Summer of Fun and Oscar Party tracked in the second flight to the top of the stretch where Summer of Fun made a three-wide move to join the leaders.
Summer of Fun took the lead at midstretch only to have Moonwalk battle back to her inside and Kitten’s Point rally five wide on the outside. In a four-horse photo finish at the line, Moonwalk prevailed by a nose for Lanerie’s third victory of the afternoon. Kitten’s Point finished a head in front of Summer of Fun, who was a nose ahead of Oscar Party.
Moonwalk returned $74, $28.40 and $17.40. Kitten’s Point paid $5.60 and $4.40 with Summer of Fun returning $4.80 to show.
Completing the field in order were Sunset Time, Hedonemewrongsong, Pure Fun, Pappascat, Go Kitten Go, favored Always Kitten and Free Song.
Racing resumes Friday with a 10-race program that begins at 1:05 p.m. (ET). Highlighting the card is the 16th running of the $100,000 Buffalo Trace Franklin County for fillies and mares going 5 ½ furlongs on the turf. The Buffalo Trace Franklin County goes as the ninth race with a 5:21 p.m. post time.