LEXINGTON, KY (April 22, 2017) – Red Baron’s Barn LLC’s Itsinthepost (FR) took command at the head of the stretch and posted a 1¼-length victory over Charming Kitten to win the 32nd running of the $250,000 Dixiana Elkhorn (G2) for 4-year-olds and up before a Saturday afternoon crowd of 18,505.
Trained by Jeff Mullins and ridden by Tyler Baze, Itsinthepost covered the 1½ miles on a turf course labeled as yielding in 2:31.22. It is the first Keeneland stakes victory for Mullins and Baze.
Chocolate Ride led the field of eight through the first mile of the race with Bigger Picture and Itsinthepost in closest pursuit. Midway on the final turn, Itsinthepost moved three wide along with Bigger Picture and those two quickly opened up on the field.
Itsinthepost surged to the front at midstretch and drew away with more than enough to hold off the late charge from Charming Kitten, who rallied from last.
The victory was worth $150,000 and increased Itsinthepost’s earnings to $512,712 with a record of 25-5-6-5. It was the second consecutive Grade 2 victory for the 5-year-old gelding, who captured the San Luis Rey at Santa Anita on March 25.
Itsinthepost, who never has been worse than second in nine of 10 starts for Mullins, is a son of American Post (GB) out of the Mozart (IRE) mare Sakkara Star (IRE).
Itsinthepost returned $7.40, $4.60 and $2.80. Charming Kitten, ridden by Julien Leparoux, rallied to finish second and paid $6.20 and $3.80 with Bigger Picture finishing another neck back third under Jose Ortiz and paying $3 to show.
It was another length back to Danish Dynaformer, who was followed in order by Red Rifle, Bullards Alley, Chocolate Ride and Interpol.
Racing continues Sunday with a nine-race program that begins at 1:05 p.m. ET.
Sunday is Military Day at the Races Presented by Marathon at Keeneland. All active-duty, reserve, veterans and military families receive free general admission with a military I.D., DD214, veteran I.D. or other form of Military I.D. at any pass gate. The Military Family Zone in the North Terrace will offer free food, live music and more from noon to 4 p.m. ET. In honor of Month of the Military Child, Keeneland will have activities for children throughout the day. Following the third race (post time: 2:12 p.m. ET), a 40’ x 60’ American flag will be unfurled on the main track.