2023 Madison Stakes Recap & More Races From Keeneland

This past Saturday’s card at Keeneland was loaded with four top-quality races. Spearheaded by the Grade 1 Madison, there was also terrific action in the Grade 2 Appalachian and Shakertown Stakes. The graded action finished with the Grade 3 Commonwealth Stakes. Here is our 2023 Madison Stakes Recap & More Races From Keeneland.

Keeneland Weekend Stakes Recap

In the Madison, Goodnight Olive was making her first appearance since winning last season’s Breeders’ Cup Fillies & Mares Turf. The heavy favorite for the race, she was able to keep her unbeaten Grade 1 record intact with a workmanlike win. Fending off the attentions of the outsider Maryquitecontrary, it was Goodnight Olive’s seventh straight win and she will be eyeing up some of the sport’s biggest prizes later on in the year.  

Sticking with the girls and in the Grade 2 Appalachian we saw one of the best finishes of the day. Irish-bred Papilio marked her second start for Mark Casse since moving to the States with a dramatic win. With four horses strewn across the track, she found a gap between horses to win the race in the shadows of the posts.  

The Shakertown Stakes was the shortest race of the day. Raced over five and a half furlongs, it was another returning Breeders’ Cup hero that took the victory. Caravel shocked the racing world when a 40-1 winner of the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint back in November and she was able to cement her class with a gutsy win in this Grade 2 contest. 

Ten horses headed down to post for this year’s Commonwealth Stakes. It was one of the outsiders of the race who would end up prevailing with the William Stinson trained Here Mi Song winning his first ever graded stakes race and the biggest prize of his career. 

2023 Madison Stakes Recap

Grade 1, Dirt, seven furlongs, open to fillies and mares aged four and over. Total prize pool: $600,000

The headline race of Saturday’s Keeneland card was the Madison Stakes. A five-runner affair, it was Goodnight Olive who was the overwhelming favorite for victory. Having been off the track since winning last season’s Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, many were excited to see how she could back that result up here. 

Starting like the best horse in the race, it was Goodnight Olive and jockey Irad Ortiz was happy to lead the field.

Holding the lead up until the home straight, Ortiz asked his champion for more but the response wasn’t forthcoming. 

Unable to kick clear off her rivals, it was one of the outsiders of the field who aimed to give chase. Attempting to grind the front runner down, Maryquitecontrary was closing with every stride, and at the 16th pole looked like she would be able to cause the upset. 

With the race on the line, Goodnight Olive was able to show all of her class and sneak out an extra bit of class when it was needed most. A winner by just over a length, her trainer Chad Brown would have been delighted that one of his stars was able to get the job done after a lengthy absence. 

Position Horse Win Place Show 
1Goodnight Olive $2.74$2.14$2.10
2Maryquitecontrary$4.20$3.08
3Society $2.16

Winning time: 1:23.12

Madison Stakes Race Video

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2022 Eclipse winner Goodnight Olive wins the 2023 Madison Stakes #Horseracing #Horseracingtips #Horsesoftiktok #Horses #Horse #FYP #Sports

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Appalachian Stakes

Grade 2, Turf, one mile, open to three-year-old fillies. Total prize pool: $400,000

Some of America’s finest three-year-old fillies were in action for this year’s renewal of the Appalachian Stakes. 

The Claude McGaughey-trained Pleasant Passage was the favorite for victory and was looking to back up her second-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf.

In what was a briskly run contest, it was the Jonathan Thomas-trained Well Into who held a slim lead through the early stages of the race. 

With several horses lining up for a decent passage down the homestraight, Heavenly Sunday, Pleasant Passage and Papilio found themselves rounding the final turn closely locked together.

The front four expected to battle it out down the final furlong, it was the two horses nearest the rail who looked to have the advantage as Well Into and Heavenly Sunday edged ahead. 

With the 16th pole quickly emerging, the pace of the race seemed to finally take its toll on both leaders, with the pair starting to paddle, Papilio and Cairo Consort found themselves right back in contention. 

Running widest of all, it was Papilio who was able to sweep to the front deep inside the final furlong. 

Cairo Consort tried to make a late bid for victory but found herself blocked by the tiring Well Into. 

With Cairo Consort finally able to break free, she lunged late, but her efforts would be in vain as she would fall short by half a length. 

The win was Papilio’s first since moving to the States and she could be one to watch with interest as the year progresses. 

Position Horse Win Place Show 
1Papilio$13.98$5.84$4.14
2Cairo Consort$4.52$2.96
3Heavenly Sunday $3.72

Winning time: 1:36.32

Appalachian Stakes Race Video

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Papilio dominates the 2023 Appalachian Stakes #Horseracing #Horseracingtips #Horsesoftiktok #Horses #Horse #FYP #Sports

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Shakertown Stakes

G2, Turf, five and a half furlongs, open to horses aged three year and over. Total prize pool: $350,000

The shortest-graded race came in the form of the Grade 2 Shakertown Stakes and it produced a finish for the ages. 

The Brad Cox-trained Caravel produced the shock of the Breeders’ Cup back in November winning the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at a price of +4000. 

This was her first appearance since that momentous win and many were fascinated to see whether she could back that performance up.

Breaking alertly, she was able to take up the running and moved herself to the front of the twelve-runner field. 

Leading up to the turn, Caravel maintained her lead but had the outsider of the field Bad Beat Brian just alongside her. 

Grabbing the inside rail as she turned for home, jockey Tyler Gaffalione asked Caravel to go and win the race but despite kicking into a higher gear she couldn’t shake off the attentions of Bad Beat Brian. 

With the two matching strides, it looked like Bad Beat Brian would take the spoils. Edging just ahead, Gaffalione asked Caravel to respond and she showed what a champion she is. 

With the posts looming, Caravel dug deep when it mattered and was able to win the race by a neck. In a truly thrilling finish Bad Beat Brian went out on his shield in second, Arrest Me Red for Wesley Ward finished like an express train to secure third. 

Position Horse Win Place Show 
1Caravel$6.30$4.82$3.60
2Bad Beat Brian$23.60$10.34
3Arrest Me Red$4.26

Winning time: 1:02:58

Shakertown Stakes Race Video

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Caravel prevails by a neck in the 2023 Shakertown #Horseracing #Horseracingtips #Horsesoftiktok #Horses #Horse #FYP #Sports

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Commonwealth Stakes

Grade 3, Turf, seven furlongs, open to horses aged four and over. Total prize pool: $300,000

The most open-looking graded race on Saturday’s Keeneland card was the Commonwealth Stakes. All ten runners had questions to answer and it was the Bret Calhoun trained Run Classic who started the race as the slim favorite. 

Trying to assert his position as the market leader, it was Run Classic who led the field through the early stages. 

With those in behind keen to not let Run Classic get too far ahead, Here Mi Song, Hoist The Gold and Long Range Toddy were all in hot pursuit and as the field turned for home all four horses were strewn across the track. 

With each horse vying for position, it was Here Mi Song who made the race winning move. Rounding the field from out wide,  jockey Alex Achard was able to keep up a relentless gallop down the home straight and maintain a slim lead.

Hoist The Gold was the one to give chase and briefly looked like he would end up winning the race. With the race entering its dying stages it was Here Mi Song who would end up as the victor. Finishing bravely, he would end up winning by half a length to land the biggest race of his career. 

Position Horse Win Place Show 
1Here Mi Song$25.60$11.54$6.92
2Hoist The Gold$9.16$5.30
3Get Her Number$4.48

Winning time: 1:23.42

Commonwealth Stakes Race Video

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Here Mi Song takes the 2023 Commonwealth #Horseracing #Horseracingtips #Horsesoftiktok #Horses #Horse #FYP #Sports

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