Ageless, under a perfect ride by Julien Leparoux, established a new course record while defending her title in Sunday’s co-featured $150,900 Grade 3 Royal North Stakes, at Woodbine.
The six-year-old Successful Appeal-Special One bay, trained by Arnaud Delacour for owner Lael Stables, arrived at the six furlong sprint over the E.P. Taylor Turf Course for older fillies and mares from a strong third-place run against the boys in the Grade 3 Jaipur Stakes held June 6 at Belmont Park.
Richies Party Girl and Leigh Court dueled through splits of :22.22 and :44.22 in the Royal North with Zensational Bunny tracking from third position. Leparoux settled into fourth position down the back straight with Ageless, improving gradually through the turn as Leigh Court put away Richies Party Girl and set down for the stretch run with a narrow lead.
Ageless, moving comfortably under Leparoux, rallied three-wide into the lane and quickened with a tremendous turn of foot to engage the leader and surge to a 3/4-length victory in a course record 1:07.17 eclipsing the 1:07.18 set by Go Blue Or Go Home on July 5 in the Grade 2 Highlander Stakes. Leigh Court was 5 ½-lengths clear of Zensational Bunny for place.
“She’s getting better all the time. Today, she won very impressively,” said Leparoux. “Today, the way she came after those horses was great.”
Delacour was pleased with the bay’s big effort over the Woodbine lawn.
“She’s very versatile. She can usually run well on softer turf, but today the turf was firm and she didn’t seem to mind,” said Delacour. “She always comes with a good run at the end and that’s what she did today.”
Ageless, bred in Kentucky by Hinkle Farms, banked $90,000 in victory while improving her record to 10-4-4 from 21 starts.
She paid $3.40, $2.10 and $2.10, combining with Leigh Court ($2.90, $2.30) for a $7 (7-6) exactor. A 7-6-3 triactor (Zensational Bunny, $2.90 to show) was worth $38. Executive Allure and Resistivity were scratched.