ELiTE Grads Romp in Kentucky Downs Feature Stakes

California invaders Richard Baltas and Drayden Van Dyke teamed up to score big with two ELiTE grads this week over Kentucky Downs’ unique turf course.

On Thursday, NEXT SHARES (#5)- a $190,000 purchase from Keeneland November ’17 by David Meah- went widest of all in his bid around the turn and rallied from seventh to win the $250,000 Old Friends Stakes going away by 1 3/4 lengths under Drayden Van Dyke.

Meah’s gamble on the $190,000 gelding has paid off for new owners Iavarone, McClanahan, Dunn, Marasa, Robershaw and Taylor. Since purchase, Next Shares was 2nd in the G1 Frank Kilroe Mile by a nose and finished a closing 3rd by 1/2-a-length in the G1 Shoemaker Mile, both at Santa Anita.

Rounding out the exacta in the Old Friends was SIEM RIEP– an $80,000 ELiTE Grad from FT HORA ’17 purchased by owner Marc Detampel. Since purchase, the 4yo Gelding by Tapit has run 14 times, tallying 4 wins, 4 seconds, and 2 thirds earning $223,735.

Fast forward to Saturday when INSTA ERMA– a $290,000 FT HORA ’17 purchase also by David Meah- romped in the G3 $500,000 Kentucky Downs Ladies Turf. Racing near the back of the pack, Insta Erma rated nicely through soft fractions of :25.6 and :48.60. Given clear running room in the stretch, the daughter of Pioneerof the Nile unleashed her blistering turn of foot to charge down the center of the course to win by a neck.

INSTA ERMA went on to win the 2017 rendition of the Swingtime Stakes at Santa Anita in only her second start for new owners Premier Racing and Medallion Racing and has since competed in Graded Stakes company in 6 of 7 starts earning the credentials G3 Winner/G1 Placed.