The longest price on the board delivered a game performance in the Dixiana Elkhorn Stakes at Keeneland April 18, as 30-1 shot Dramedy put steady pressure on frontrunner My Afleet all the way around and then just held off the late charge of Dynamic Sky to win by a neck.
Making his first start at the 1 1/2-mile distance and coming off a fourth in the one-mile Appleton Stakes at Gulfstream Park, the 6-year-old Distorted Humor runner benefiited from a slow tempo up front, as My Afleet clocked opening fractions of :26.57, :52.47, and 1:16.31.
By that point, the top two had separated themselves about nine lengths from the rest of an eight-horse field, and they remained on mostly even terms through a 1:40.66 mile.
"When they went the mile in 1:40, I said, 'Oh my gosh, he's got this!'" said Sandra Atkins, assistant trainer to conditioner Gerald Aschinger. "Every time he's run, he's closed at the end and he's hard to pull up going a mile (or) a mile and a sixteenth, so the mile and a half was perfect."
Dramedy did not lack the pedigree to belong in graded stakes company going a distance. Bred in Kentucky by WinStar Farm out of the A.P. Indy mare She's a Winner, the John James-owned runner is a half-brother to grade I winner Bluegrass Cat and from the family of Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands winner Super Saver .
Jockey Joe Bravo said Dramedy responded gamely when set down for the drive, taking over through 1 1/4 miles in 2:05.37 and diving beneath the rail in time to finish in 2:31.17 on good turf. His victory was earned before a sun-splashed Saturday afternoon crowd of 37,737, the third-largest attendance in Keeneland history.
"Don't you love horse racing? You never know what to expect!" Bravo remarked. "I take my hat off to the whole team. Do you know how hard it is to get a horse ready for a mile and a half? Turning for home, he was like 'Come on, guys, let's go!"
Dramedy returned $63.60, $21.20, and $7.60, while Dynamic Sky brought $4.80 and $3.20. Unitarian, also closing, paid $3 to show. Biz The Nurse, Aldous Snow, My Afleet, Cary Street, and Holiday Sky completed the order of finish. Java's War, Optimizer, and Xtra Luck scratched.
The Elkhorn victory bumped Dramedy's record to 4-2-1 from 15 starts and boosted his earnings to $260,073. He sold to James through Aschinger's War Horse Place consignment at the 2014 Fasig-Tipton horses of racing age sale for $70,000. Prior to that sale, he ran for CTR Stables and Moore Racing after being purchased for $185,000 from the WinStar Racing consignment at the 2012 Keeneland November breeding stock sale.