Engage wins Keeneland’s Phoenix S. (G2) in driving finish
October 5, 2019
Into Mischief’s 4-year-old colt Engage earned his second career graded stakes win on Oct. 4 at Keeneland with a hard-fought victory in the $250,000 Phoenix S. (G2). He also earned a free entry into the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) with the win.
Engage has faced top-class competition throughout his career since winning the 2017 Futurity (G3) at Belmont Park, and is now 5-4-0 in 12 starts and earning $649,080 for owner Woodford Racing LLC.
Breaking from post 8 in a field that featured several graded stakes winners, Engage was kept out of traffic by Jose Ortiz. He began to move up four-wide on the turn and was battling for the lead in upper stretch. Several horses had a shot at the win in the final sixteenth, but Engage held them all off to defeat Whitmore by a half-length in 1:10.21 on the fast main track.
“We’re very pleased with the outcome, winning trainer Steve Asmussen said. It’s great to see this horse dig in. Quality field, rush to the wire and he found enough. He’s always been a quality horse. Loved the opportunity for him. This is a big win.”
Pedigree Notes from the TDN: Engage was offered in utero at Keeneland November in 2014, where his stakes-placed dam fetched a final bid of $125,000. A $200,000 Keeneland September yearling turned $550,000 OBS March breezer (:9 4/5), Engage is out of a daughter of treble turf GSW Clearly a Queen, also the dam of the SP Queen of the Waves (English Channel) and Town Belle (Speightstown), dam of Japanese SW Ryono Tesoro (Justin Phillip).