Spendthrift Farm’s Medal Count snuck through on the rail at the head of the stretch en route to a 1¼-length victory over Picozza to win the $100,000 Transylvania S. for 3-year-olds on opening-day at Keeneland.
Settled right on the rail from his inside post, Robby Albarado took the bay colt to near the back of the eight-horse field around the first turn. Full of run down the backstretch, Medal Count closed in on the leaders to be only a length off the lead after six furlongs in 1:12.17.
With three horses in front of him and a quarter-mile to go, Albarado sent Medal Count through a narrow opening on the inside to forge ahead just outside the furlong marker, pulling away late to secure the win.
Medal Count covered the 1 1/16 miles on the main track in 1:43.35. The race was moved from the turf following heavy overnight and morning rains.
“He is versatile,” said winning trainer Dale Romans. “He ran well on the Polytrack here in the fall (when finishing fifth in the Grade 3 Bourbon on Oct. 6, 2013), but he just had too much trouble (in the race). This is a really good horse. He’s been one of my favorites all along. He’s a good horse, and he showed the performance we were expecting.”
A 2012 Keeneland September Yearling Sale graduate, where Spendthrift was the winning bidder, Medal Count is a Kentucky-bred son of Dynaformer out of the Unbridled’s Song mare Brisquette. The $60,000 winner’s check boosted Medal Count’s bankroll to $111,600 with a record of 3-0-0 from six starts.