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Du Jour pours it on in Kilroe Mile, becomes Temple City’s fourth G1 winner

March 3, 2024

Du Jour earned a 103 Beyer for his impressive Kilroe Mile (G1) victory, giving Temple City his fourth G1 winner | Benoit photo

In his first start of 2024, the talented Du Jour surged clear of the field to impressively win the $300,000 Frank E. Kilroe Mile (G1) at Santa Anita, becoming his sire Temple City’s fourth Grade 1 winner.

The 5-year-old miler became a millionaire, extending his career earnings to $1,118,220 for Natalie Baffert and Debbie Lanni. Trained by Bob Baffert and purchased as a juvenile by renowned bloodstock agent Donato Lanni, Saturday’s momentous victory proved to be a family affair for the Bafferts & Lannis.

Making his first start since the Breeders’ Cup Mile last fall, Du Jour broke well and found a nice spot in the pocket while covered up along the inside behind the leaders under jockey Flavien Prat. As the field of milers rounded the far turn for their final kick for home, Du Jour was absolutely full of run and found an opening along the inside which he exploded through to open up a clear advantage over his rivals in the stretch. Displaying a dazzling turn of foot, Du Jour crossed the wire an easy two lengths ahead of the runner-up and stopped the clock in 1:33.95 over the firm local course.

The performance was his best yet, earning a 103 Beyer – tops in all of North America to date in 2024 on turf – and putting himself at the top of the class for American turf milers.

Du Jour has always shown promise since Lanni acquired him for $280,000 at OBS. He won the American Turf S. (G2) on Kentucky Derby Day at Churchill Downs as a 3-year-old, which was arguably his best victory coming into the Kilroe Mile. Last year, he lost by a neck when runner-up in the Kilroe Mile, and went on to capture the listed Wickerr S. along with the Del Mar Mile (G2) heading into the Breeders’ Cup where he finished tenth beaten just 3 1/2 lengths.

“He’s always been a good horse, but he tailed off on us,” Baffert said. “So we gave him a lot of time off and brought him back. We let him mature. He’s getting good at the right time.

“Donato Lanni showed me this horse. Jill drove up—she was with me at that sale. She liked (Du Jour). We were thinking of partners. We thought of Debbie, and she said sure,” Baffert added.

Lanni said: “It was so exciting, so I won’t say unexpected but very exciting. In the Breeders’ Cup, he just wasn’t himself I don’t think. He only finished three and a half lengths behind, but three and a half short.”

Bred by Woods Edge Farm in Kentucky, Du Jour is out of the Bernardini mare Guiltless. Temple City, who stands at Spendthrift for $5,000, is once again a leading turf sire in North America, with a continent-leading 2 black type winners, 2 graded stakes winners and 1 Grade 1 winner after Du Jour’s victory.