Pletcher, Breeder Stonestreet Stables Achieve Rare Dead Heat At Keeneland – Horse Racing News

Pletcher, Breeder Stonestreet Stables Achieve Rare Dead Heat At Keeneland – Horse Racing News


Todd Pletcher stablemates Grand Entrance (left) and Pure Pauline pose for photos after finishing in a dead heat in Keeneland’s ninth race on Thursday, Oct. 20

A racing rarity occurred in the ninth race at Keeneland on Thursday when Pure Pauline and Grand Entrance finished on even terms for a dead heat for trainer Todd Pletcher. Both 2-year-old fillies appeared in the winner’s Circle for the traditional win picture.

Both fillies were bred by Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings and are closely related. Pure Pauline, who races for Stonestreet Stables, is a daughter of Curlin and the Pulpit mare Keen Pauline. Grand Entrance is by Bernardini and is out of Keen Pauline’s dam, the Two Punch mare Grand Pauline.

It doesn’t occur often, but there are multiple instances of one trainer saddling both winning horses in a dead heat.

Earlier this year, on March 25 at Charles Town Races, Jeff Runco’s two West Virginia-bred runners, Noballstwostrikes and Penguin Parade, finished on even terms and were both credited with a win in an allowance race. In 2016, Peter Miller saddled both Solid Wager and St. Joe Bay to win the Grade 3 Midnight Lute Stakes at Santa Anita. Gary Barber, a co-owner of Grand Entrance with Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Steve Rocco, was also co-owner of Solid Wager.

Two years earlier in 2014, also in a stakes, Robertino Diodoro sent out the dead-heat winners of the Shakopee Juvenile at Canterbury Park  – Grand Full Moon and Native American – for Ernie Moody’s Mercedes Stable.

Thursday’s race was a maiden special event for 2-year-old fillies going 1 1/16 miles. Pure Pauline, ridden by John Velazquez, was the 9-5 favorite and raced from just off the pace, gaining the advantage at the top of the stretch but was caught at the wire by her stablemate. Grand Entrance, ridden by Luis Saez, broke slowly and was last early, then rallied seven wide into the stretch to finish on even terms with Pure Pauline.

The dead heat gave Pletcher his eighth and ninth wins of the current meet, putting him four ahead of Brad Cox in the trainer standings. Saez (nine wins) and Velazquez (eight) are clustered at the top of the jockey race with Tyler Gaffalione (nine) and Florent Geroux (eight).

Trainer Todd Pletcher with John Velazquez (left) and Luis Saez following a rare dead heat by stablemates

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