Keeneland: Caravel wins for Cox, Gaffalione in Franklin Stakes

Caravel surged past pacesetting Twilight Gleaming passing the eighth pole and went on to post a 1 3/4-length win in the 26th running of the Grade 3, $300,000 Franklin Stakes for fillies and mares Sunday afternoon at Keeneland.

Owned by Qatar Racing, Marc Detampel and Madaket Stables, trained by Brad Cox and ridden by Tyler Gaffalione, Caravel covered the 5 1/2 furlongs on a firm turf course in 1:02.59. It is the second triumph in the race for Gaffalione, who guided Got Stormy to the win in the 2020 renewal.

Twilight Gleaming took the lead out of the gate and was hounded through fractions of 21.40 and 44.82 seconds. Creative Credit stalked to her inside, and Caravel raced just behind the top two.

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At the head of the stretch, Gaffalione had Caravel in the three path with aim on the leaders, taking over after the eighth pole and securing enough of a cushion to hold off fast-closing Thundering Creed.

A 5-year-old Pennsylvania-bred daughter by Mizzen Mast out of the Congrats mare Zeezee Zoomzoom, Caravel notched her third Grade 3 victory and ninth stakes victory overall. She improved her record to 19: 11-0-3. Sunday’s win was worth $143,375 and increased Caravel’s earnings to $811,152.

For winning the Franklin, Caravel returned $6.88, $4.14 and $3.46. Thundering Creed, ridden by Joe Rocco Jr., paid $11.36 and $6.40 and concluded a nose ahead of Star Devine, who returned $5.04 to show under Adam Beschizza. It was another length back to Twilight Gleaming, who was followed in order by Have A Good Day, Creative Credit, Brooke Marie, Tobys Heart, Querobin Dourada, Bout Time and Elle Z.

Caravel was cataloged to Book 1 of Keeneland’s November breeding-stock sale Nov. 7. Hunter Valley Farm, serving as the agent, consigns the mare who is hip 224 and cataloged as a racing or broodmare prospect.

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