Itsinthepost’s tremendous consistency perhaps proved to be his biggest asset in the $250,000 Elkhorn (G2) at Keeneland. First or second in eight of nine starts since joining the Jeff Mullins barn, the French-bred five-year-old made it two graded stakes wins in a row after 1 1/2 miles on Saturday.
A ground-saving third as Chocolate Ride led the field through splits of :25.17, :50.50, 1:15.18, and 1:39.94 over the yielding turf, jockey Tyler Baze then tipped Itsinthepost out to the three-path down the backside a second time. Making a three-wide bid for the lead around the far turn and gaining the edge over Bigger Picture entering the stretch, Itsinthepost put that rival away in upper stretch and safely held on to win by 1 1/4 lengths.
Owned by Red Barons Barn and the slight favorite over Bigger Picture at odds of 5-2, Itsinthepost returned $7.40. He covered the course in 2:31.22.
Charming Kitten rallied to finish second by a neck over Bigger Picture, with Danish Dynaformer another neck behind in fourth. Red Rifle, Bullards Alley, Chocolate Ride, and Interpol completed the order of finish following three earlier scratches.
“It’s been my dream to win a race at Keeneland,” said Baze, who was recording his first stakes win at the track. “This horse has been phenomenal.”
Following two allowance wins in his first six races for Mullins, Itsinthepost has run in nothing but stakes this term. Second in the off-the-turf San Gabriel (G3) and San Marcos (G2), Itsinthepost broke through last time with a one-length score in the San Luis Rey (G2) at Santa Anita, also over 1 1/2 miles.
“It seems like he further he goes, the better he gets,” said Mullins, who was also recording his first stakes triumph at Keeneland. Itsinthepost’s mark now reads 25-5-6-5, $512,712.
Bred by Juien Leaunes, Itsinthepost is by American Post and out of Sakkara Star, by Mozart. His third dam was Group 2 winner Silk Slippers and, more distantly, this is the family of Hall of Fame mare Shuvee.