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Bold Act Leads Godolphin's One-Two Punch in Elkhorn

Bold Act won the 1 1/2-mile Sycamore Stakes (G3T) at Keeneland in the fall.

Bold Act wins the Sycamore Stakes at Keeneland

Bold Act wins the Sycamore Stakes at Keeneland

Mathea Kelley

Godolphin's Bold Act, who traveled from overseas to win last fall's Sycamore Stakes (G3T) at Keeneland with a late rally, returns to the Lexington oval in search of more graded stakes riches in the April 20 Elkhorn Stakes (G2T).

One of two runners entered for Godolphin and British trainer Charlie Appleby—the other being Silver Knott—Bold Act is the likely favorite in the $350,000 Elkhorn, which like the Sycamore, is at 1 1/2 miles on turf.

While the Elkhorn marks the first start of the year for Silver Knott—who placed in four stakes last year in the United States, including in his final 2023 start when third in the Dec. 2 Hollywood Derby (G1T) at Del Mar—Bold Act has the advantage of a start in 2024. Racing for the first time since the Elkhorn at Meydan in the March 2 Dubai City of Gold (G2T), the 4-year-old gelded son of New Approach overpowered the opposition to score by two lengths under jockey Mickael Barzalona.

"The pace was nice and regular, and Bold Act got to the front very easily," Barzalona said of the Godolphin homebred. "He did the minimum once in front, but it was an easy enough win for him."

International star jockey Frankie Dettori, who extended his riding career through 2024 with plans to ride in America, picks up the mount in the Elkhorn. Dettori has a long association with Godolphin.

Silver Knott, twice a group 3 winner in England at age 2 in 2022, also has experience at Keeneland. He was second, beaten a nose, in the 2022 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G1T) there that fall. He was winless in six starts last year, with all but one of those races coming in the United States.

Besides the Hollywood Derby, he also hit the board in the Twilight Derby (G2T) at Santa Anita Park, the Secretariat Stakes (G2T) at Colonial Downs and the Pennine Ridge Stakes (G2T) at Belmont Park. None of those races were longer than 1 1/4 miles. Flavien Prat rides the gelded son of Lope de Vega.

Other Threats

  • Highland Chief makes his first start since finishing 12th in the Breeders' Cup Turf (G1T) in November 2022. A few weeks earlier, he won the 2022 Sycamore Stakes at Keeneland.
  • Winning Spirit competes in America for the first time after winning four of nine starts in Germany and Italy, where he was twice a stakes winner.
  • Missed the Cut heads to Kentucky from Southern California, where he captured the San Marcos Stakes (G3T) and San Luis Rey Stakes (G3T) at Santa Anita.

Entries: VisitLEX Elkhorn S. (G2T)

Keeneland, Saturday, April 20, 2024, Race 8

  • Grade IIT
  • 1 1/2m
  • Turf
  • $350,000
  • 4 yo's & up
  • 4:44 PM (local)
PPHorseJockeyWgtTrainerM/L
11The Grey Wizard (IRE)Luis Saez118H. Graham Motion15/1
22King Curlin (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateChristopher A. Emigh118Brittany A. Vanden Berg30/1
33Highland Chief (IRE)John R. Velazquez118H. Graham Motion5/1
44Bold Act (IRE)Lanfranco Dettori120Charles Appleby3/2
55Dynadrive (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateReylu Gutierrez118Michael J. Maker20/1
66Wentru (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateAxel Concepcion118William Walden30/1
77Winning Spirit (GER)Tyler Gaffalione118Christophe Clement6/1
88Foreign Relations (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateDeclan Cannon118Conor Murphy15/1
99Lucky Curlin (KY)Gerardo Corrales118Michael J. Maker50/1
1010Missed the Cut (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateIrad Ortiz, Jr.118John W. Sadler4/1
1111Silver Knott (GB)Flavien Prat118Charles Appleby8/1