Team Block's 6-year-old mare Never Retreat notched her second consecutive graded stakes victory on Saturday, drawing off in the lane to win the Grade II Jenny Wiley Stakes by 13/4 lengths on the turf at Keeneland.
The Jenny Wiley was one of three graded stakes on the undercard of the Grade I Toyota Blue Grass Stakes.
The daughter of Smart Strike entered the 11⁄16-mile Jenny Wiley off a win in the Grade III Honey Fox at Gulfstream Park on March 5 and had not been off the board in her previous six starts on the turf.
With Shaun Bridgmohan up, Never Retreat mounted a bid in the lane after sitting just off the leaders in third to beat a talented field of 10 that included Grade I winner Eclair de Lune. She finished in 1:44.72.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Fantasia was second with 2-1 favorite Zagora third.
Aikenite makes the grade in Commonwealth Stakes
Dogwood Stables' hard-trying Aikenite earned the first graded stakes win of his now 17-race career when he mounted a charge on the outside to triumph by 21/4 lengths in the Grade II, $175,000 Commonwealth Stakes.
Aikenite, trained by Todd Pletcher, had hit the board in four other graded stakes during his career but wasn't able to get over the hump until he hit the stretch of the 7-furlong Commonwealth. Under the guidance of John Velazquez, the 4-year-old son of Yes It's True made the lead in deep stretch to collar pacesetter Cool Bullet in 1:22.35 over the main track.
Cool Bullet held for second with Le Grand Cru, who had prompted the leader through early fractions of :22.68 and :45.29, coming home third.
Wise Dan, the even-money pick in the five-horse field, was a non-threatening fourth.
The win gave Dogwood Stables its eighth graded stakes victory at Keeneland, earning Cot Campbell's operation a gold tray.
Stratford Hill rallies in Shakertown Stakes
The Todd Pletcher-trained Stratford Hill rallied in the stretch to capture the Grade III Shakertown Stakes by half a length on the turf.
After sitting close up in third in the eight-horse field, Stratford Hill came running three-wide on the outside to cover the 51/2 furlongs in 1:03.90 over a yielding course.
Grand Adventure was up for second with Great Attack third. Chamberlain Bridge, the 2-to-1 race favorite, was fourth.
Owned by Eugene Melnyk, Stratford Hill came into the race with a three-race win streak but was testing stakes company for the first time. After finishing off the board in his first two career starts on the dirt, the 4-year-old son of A.P. Indy is now unbeaten in four career starts since switching to the grass.