Arzak kicks off Keeneland graded double for Not This Time

Arzak is possibly headed to the Breeders’ Cup after his two-length victory Saturday in the $350,000 Woodford S. (G2) at Keeneland.

The 5-year-old son of Not This Time was the first of two graded winners on the Keeneland card, with Up to the Mark capturing the (G1) later in the afternoon. Not This Time is the nation’s leading Fourth-Crop sire and is in the top 10 on the General Sire list with over $9.5 million in progeny earnings.

Arzak was making his first graded stakes start since May. He found a good spot several lengths off the lead as Live In The Dream blazed through the first quarter-mile in :20.97. Arzak came off the rail coming into the stretch, and with clear running ahead of him, showed a lightning-quick turn of foot in the final furlong to take the lead and get to the wire in 1:01.65, less than a second off the track record, for the five furlongs on the firm turf.

“On the backside I was farther back than I wanted to be, but it looked like they were really putting a good pace in front of him so I just stayed there and then kicked him on to finish,” said winning rider Joel Rosario. “I rode him before, and he always tries really, really hard. He’s a good horse.”

Arzak, who won the 2022 Jacques Cartier S. (G3), now has four lifetime stakes wins and has earned $606,006 for Sonata Stable. Bred by John Oxley, Arzak sold for $575,000 at the 2020 OBS Spring 2-year-olds in training sale.

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