The 4-year-old son of Eskendereya is owned by William and Corinne Heiligbrodt. In winning by 1 1/4 lengths, he raced six furlongs in 1:09 on a fast track. He paid $5.60 for a $2 wager. Whitmore was 2 1/4 lengths back in third.
As expected, the quick Shancelot broke on top under Jose Ortiz and wrangled the lead from an aggressive Matera Sky. The opening quarter-mile went in :21.47 as Mitole was just behind those two while well off the rail along with Firenze Fire. Engage also gave chase as they headed to the turn.
On the turn, Shancelot found his best stride and opened on the field as Santana got busy on Mitole, who cut into Shancelot’s lead a little with each stride as he hit the quarter-pole in :44.04.
From the back of the back, veteran Whitmore came with a wide move, but it was a two-horse race down the lane. Mitole was on near even terms with Shancelot as they hit the furlong marker in :56.19. Mitole edged away, clearing the runner-up in the final strides.
“I had a lot of confidence in my horse,” Santana said. “He’s a horse I’ve been riding since he was a 2-year-old. I changed my mind today. A lot of people thought he’d go to the lead. I took him back and made one move and got to the wire first.”—Evan Hammonds