Enticed finally broke through. The two-year-old runner for Godolphin won the 2017 Kentucky Jockey Club in thrilling fashion as he bobbed ahead of Tiz Mischief by a nose at the wire to win his first major competition. Notwithstanding the brilliant ending, this Kentucky Derby prep race was not without drama throughout.
Promises Fulfilled took the field out as the frontrunner with 10/1 odds. Givemeaminit was at the center of the raucous as he bumped Enticed around the first turn, and then became entangled with longshot Diamond King who lost his rider in the early stages of the 2017 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes.
Bending around the first turn, there were bids by many horses but Enticed proved to be thoroughly engaged despite the early shakeups. He was challenged by Tiz Mischief, the 5/1 second choice, right until the end as Promises Fulfilled held on for third.
As the 3/1 favorite, Enticed delivered $8.80, $4.80 and $3.80 across the board.
This was a signifcant step in the right direction for the Godolphin homebred, who holds a special place in the heart of his trainers and connections. “This is a homebred, and that means so much to Sheikh Mohammed to be able to breed this type, raise them, and have them come through the Godolphin system,” said Jimmy Bell, the President of Godolphin’s Jonabell Farm. “That’s kind of a real bonus for us.”
Surviving some early adversity in the 2017 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes was certainly invigorating given that Enticed hadn’t trained well coming out of the 2017 Champagne Stakes where he fell behind Firenze Fire and Good Magic for third place. So this win certainly puts him on track for a potential Triple Crown berth.
“As these babies are growing up both mentally and physically,” continued Bell. “You’re hoping to gather this sort of experience. We probably got a little more than we bargained for today, listening to Junior talk about it, but in these big races, with a lot of horses in here, not always do things go according to plan. To see him not get discouraged and be able to settle down and put his run in there keeps us very optimistic about the future. He grew up a lot today.”
The 2017 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes offered a 10-4-2-1 split for the top four horses, but it’s still far too early on the trail to indicate that Enticed is any type of frontrunner. He still has plenty of work to do to catch up to Bolt d’Oro, Good Magic and the rest of his classmates.