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Stakes Recap: Heitai Outguns Delaunay in Listed Duncan Kenner

It figured to be a speed duel between Rowell Enterprises’ Heitai and Maggi Moss’s Delaunay, and that was exactly how the 61st running of the listed $100,000 Duncan F. Kenner Stakes turned out.  However, the public wagered the wrong way.

It was second choice Heitai who quickly gained command after breaking behind the odds-on Delaunay, who is not a good breaker himself, but once Heitai had the advantage he never looked back.

“I broke a little slow, but I made the lead pretty quick,” said winning rider Diego Saenz, “and once I had the lead all I had to do was keep him on his toes.  He’s a very fast horse.”

After cutting out early splits of 21.29 and 44.12, Heitai increased the margin in the lane, drawing off for a five-length score while less than fully extended.  He accomplished the six furlongs in 1:09.68, increased his career earnings to $394,943 with his seventh win in 17 starts, the last four of which have been in a row.

The Louisiana-bred paid $6.60, $2.80 and $2.20.

Winning trainer Karl Broberg reiterated Saenz’s concerns about the start.

“He’s a horrible gate horse,” said Broberg.  “I thought we lost it at the break.”

Despite the public’s confidence in Delaunay, his trainer Tom Amoss expressed concern before the race that the Heitai’s rail post might cost Delaunay the race, and before the two speedsters left the backstretch, he knew the outcome. 

“We’re done,” he said, well before the two hit the quarter-pole.

Delaunay, coming off a winning effort in the Gaudin Memorial here Jan. 25, paid $2.10 and $2.10 while Mike McCarty’s third place finisher Lemon Drop Dream, who finished 1 ¼-lengths behind Delaunay, returned $2.20.

Countercyclical andSilver Lining John completed the order of finish.