It was a big half-hour on the Kentucky Oaks (G1) trail for FLATTER when Search Results raced to a Gazelle Stakes (G3) victory, quickly followed by Pass the Champagne finishing just a head short in the Central Bank Ashland Stakes (G1).
Stretching to 1 1/8 miles for the first time in her three starts, the Chad Brown-trained Search Results proved to love the added distance in the Gazelle. Going off as the race favorite after winning the prep for this race last out, she shadowed the leading Alwayz Late for much of the distance.
Restrained by Irad Ortiz Jr. as they raced around the oval, her jockey let her go around the turn and in only a few strides she was head-and-head with the leader. The undefeated filly was in the lead by the top of the stretch and was wrapped up in the final sixteenth when it was clear her 2 ¾ length lead was safe.
“She relaxed so good,” said Ortiz. “She did everything right. We broke out of there and had a target. Going into the last turn, I had plenty of horse, I was just waiting to make my move. When I asked her, she really picked it up.”
The victory took her record to 3-from-3 with two of those coming in stakes company for Klaravich Stables. Purchased for $310,000 by Mike Ryan as agent from Select Sales, Search Results sits atop the Kentucky Oaks leaderboard with all Kentucky Oaks prep races in the books.
Search Results is out of Grade 3 winner Co Cola, a half-sister to Ecuadorian champion and Grade 1-placed Kingdom Road. Search Results also comes from the family of Canadian champion Kimchi and UAE champion Mind Your Biscuits. Her victory provided a big update for Hip 644 at the upcoming OBS Spring Sale with that FLATTER colt her full brother.
Always in contention in the Ashland Stakes (G1), Pass the Champagne was among the leading trio for much of the race and took the lead by the time they hit the top of the stretch. It took the race favorite the whole stretch to chase down Pass the Champagne, just getting her head in front of FLATTER’s gutsy filly a stride before the wire.
“I thought she was a winner when she came off the turn,” said her trainer George Weaver. “I know it’s a short run to the wire and I was like ‘man we’ve got open lengths.’ The wire could not come soon enough and Todd’s filly (Malathaat) came running … There is no embarrassment getting beat by her today. First time two turns, I would look for a big improvement next time.”
All three of FLATTER’s 2021 stakes winners are 3-year-olds with five of his six stakes horses also from that generation. Sitting 14th on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard, stakes winner and UAE Derby (G2) runner-up Panadol was nominated for the Triple Crown last week as his connections eye an American classic.
Search Results is guaranteed a spot in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) in her number one position while Pass The Champagne currently sits in the 13th spot with 14 allowed in the field.