Keen Pauline, a close relative of Sandown Stud’s successful sire Ashaawes, made headlines on Friday when she won the prestigious G2 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimlico.
Ridden by Javier Castellano, the well related Keen Pauline made all to land the Black-Eyed Susan by two and three quarter lengths.\
Winning jockey Castellano said after the win in the 1800m contest, “I didn’t expect to be on the lead. I saw a lot of speed in the race. I thought that Martin Garcia on (Luminance) had the speed and was going to dictate the pace. He broke OK and didn’t send his horse to the lead. My horse broke so well out of the gate I dictated the pace and I enjoyed the ride.”
The Black-Eyed Susan Stakes has been won by numerous stars over the years – including such champion fillies Royal Delta, Serena’s Song, Silverbulletday and Davona Dale, to name but a few.
It was a first stakes win for the filly, who has now won twice in six outings and looks to be a contender for bigger races later in the season. Trained by Dale Romans, Keen Pauline is the first stakes winner for the unraced Two Punch mare Grand Pauline.
Keen Pauline, a daughter of the ill-fated Pulpit, is a descendant of the important blue hen Close Control (by Dunce).
The latter is also the third dam of promising young Kingmambo horse Ashaawes, while other notable performers tracing back in female line to Close Control include successful sire Doneraile Court, champion filly Hooray, G1 Hollywood Gold Cup winner Early Pioneer and multiple G1 winner Excellent Meeting. The latter, a three parts sister to Ashaawes’ dam Crown Of Crimson, won eight times, with her four G1 triumphs including wins in such races as the Oak Leaf Stakes, Del Mar Debutante, Santa Oaks and Las Virgenes Stakes. Excellent Meeting, who earned more than $1.4 million, also ran fifth, to champion Charismatic, in the 1999 Kentucky Derby.
Keen Pauline’s relative Ashaawes is enjoying another successful season, with both his juveniles and older horses continuing to catch the eye.
This season, Ashaawes has been represented by just eight two-year-old runners this season. However, seven of these have either won or finished in the money – a fine strike rate from a stallion whose runners only improve and get better with time!