Courtesy of Bloodhorse.com Arcadia, CA (May 25, 2020) – Tommy Town Thoroughbreds’ Keeper Ofthe Stars notched the first top-level win for herself and her trainer, Jonathan Wong, May 25 at Santa Anita Park, pulling ahead for a clear victory in the $302,500 Gamely Stakes (G1T).
The victory marked back-to-back graded stakes wins for the 4-year-old Midnight Lute filly. She won the Feb. 22 Buena Vista Stakes (G2T) in her last outing, beating Jolie Olimpica, who returned to win the 5 1/2-furlong Monrovia Stakes (G2T) earlier on Monday’s card.
“I’m over the moon right now! I’m really speechless,” said Wong. “This is my first grade 1, so I’m off the schneid. Now that she’s learned to relax, the sky’s the limit with her. Kristin Mulhall is overseeing everything down there and she deserves all the credit, along with the whole crew.”
Abel Cedillo was back aboard Keeper Ofthe Stars for the Gamely. Northern California-based Wong has had the jockey assigned to the mount since October, when the pair won the Autumn Miss Stakes (G3T). The gray/roan filly and Cedillo broke from the outside post of 10 and settled in third through the first half-mile. Giza Goddess showed the way with fractions of :23.22, :47.20, and 1:11.03, while Etoile, the 8-5 favorite, chased from last.
At the three eighths pole Keeper Ofthe Stars was back in fourth a head behind Simply Breathless. Cedillo took the filly three wide into the home stretch and once straightened out, his mount ran past the frontrunners. Keeper Ofthe Stars, a 7-1 shot, continued to a 1 1/4-length win and completed 1 1/8 miles on firm turf in 1:46.43.
“She’s better if somebody is in front of her, she likes to follow. If she has a target she is better,” said Cedillo, who rode three winners Monday. “Last time I rode her in the grade 2 (Buena Vista) I noticed that, so I tried to do the same thing today. I think this was her best race.”
“This filly had been training so well and she got an amazing ride from Abel; he couldn’t have ridden her any better,” Wong said. “She’s a really good filly. I thought she could’ve won a couple of those graded stakes at Del Mar, but her best races are in front of her. I couldn’t be any prouder.”
Bodhicitta rallied from eighth to finish second a nose ahead of Mucho Unusual in third. Beautiful Lover was fourth and Etoile only managed eighth.
Keeper Ofthe Stars was bred in Kentucky by Olin Gentry, Omar Trevino, and Anthony Cappola out of the Run Away and Hide mare Sociable, a half sister to grade 1 winner and Lane’s End stallion The Factor. She first sold as a weanling for $60,000 to Zayat Stables, with Patrice Miller/EQB acting as agent, from the Van Meter-Gentry Sales consignment to the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale. Tommy Town Thoroughbreds then secured her for $180,000 at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale, where she was consigned by Lane’s End.
From 15 career starts, Keeper Ofthe Stars has a 7-1-3 record and earnings of $501,931.