Lexington, KY (SportsNetwork.com) - Dance With Fate, ridden by Corey Nakatani, put his synthetic track experience to good use Saturday with a convincing victory in the 90th Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland Racecourse.
Winning the $750,000, 1 1/8-mile race was worth 100 points to Dance With Fate as part of the Kentucky Derby points system and assures the colt a start in the 20-horse field for the Run for the Roses on May 3.
Trained by Peter Eurton, Dance With Fate settled off the pace in the 14-horse field. The colt was 6-1 in the betting behind 7-2 favorite Bobby's Kitten and 5-1 second pick Gala Award.
Pablo Del Monte set the pace with Bobby's Kitten pressing the leader and Coastline racing in third. Dance With Fate was racing 10th and 11th in the early going.
Pablo Del Monte still had the lead coming into the stretch as Dance With Fate and Medal Count moved into contention. Dance With Fate quickly took the lead leaving the furlong pole and opened up with less than 100 yards to run.
Dance With Fate posted a 1 3/4-length victory over 6-1 Medal Count with 9-1 Pablo Del Monte holding onto third. Big Bazinga at 35-1 was fourth followed by Coltimus Prime, Gala Award, So Lonesome, Asserting Bear, Casiguapo, Coastline, Extrasexyhippzster, Bobby's Kitten, Harry's Holiday and Vinceremos.
The time for Blue Grass was 1:50.06.
"They were actually going a little slower than I anticipated," Nakatani said, "but being on the Polytrack you don't know what's going to happen. In talking with Peter (Eurton) about the race before, he said, 'If you can, get him to switch off and just have a target for him to run at, save a little and just make your best run when it counts,' and I said. 'Ok, let's do it.'"
Dance With Fate, owned by Sharon Alesia, Bran Jam Stable and Ciaglia Racing, broke through for his first stakes win after finishing second in three earlier tries. The victory was worth $450,000 to bring the colt's earnings to $680,050 with three wins and three seconds in eight starts.
The 3-year-old was coming off a second to Tamarando in the El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields. Last year he was second in the Del Mar Futurity to Tamarando and runner-up to Bond Holder in the FrontRunner Stakes at Santa Anita. He has two wins and two seconds on synthetic tracks.
"He's done things right. He seems to do well on the grass, and at Churchill, I've won the (Kentucky) Oaks on a filly that won on the grass (Pike Place Dacer in 1996) so hopefully we'll get (Dance With Fate) there after this race," Nakatani said about running in the Kentucky Derby.
Dance With Fate returned $14.80, $6.80 and $5.80. Medal Count paid $7.80 and $5.20, and Pablo Del Monte paid $6.80 to show.