BigDaddy News

Horse Racing News

Tony Ann Edges Caravel in Franklin Stakes

Jockey Flavien Prat timed Tony Ann ‘s move just right as the improving filly edged heavily favored Caravel  in a duel to the wire in the Oct. 15 $350,000 Franklin Stakes (G2T) at Keeneland.

Making just her second start outside California, Tony Ann and Prat tracked Caravel, who was outfooted for early command by Twilight Gleaming  and B G Warrior  through the opening fractions. Settling off rapid-fire splits of :21.09 and :43.93, Prat set Tony Ann on Caravel’s heels at the top of the lane and she battled the defending Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1T) heroine head and head to the wire.

Caravel, on the inside and making her first start since a fourth-place finish to males in the Aug. 5 Troy Stakes (G3T), retook the lead narrowly at the sixteenth pole but was ultimately bested by Tony Ann.

Tony Ann wins the 2023 Franklin Stakes at Keeneland
Photo: Coady Photography/Renee Torbit

Tony Ann wins the Franklin Stakes at Keeneland

“She was very game,” Prat said of Tony Ann. “To go by Caravel you have to go all out.”

Sign up for

The pair struck the wire in a final time of 1:02.42 for the 5 1/2 furlongs over a turf course rated as good.

Tony Ann ($17.62) was listed the victor by a neck over Caravel, with a late-running Train to Artemus  rallying for third. Pacesetting Twilight Gleaming faded to fourth.

Despite Caravel’s defeat, trainer Brad Cox is still eyeing a defense of her Turf Sprint title at Santa Anita Park Nov. 4. Cox indicated that the two-time grade 1 winner would return to his Churchill Downs base before shipping out to Santa Anita Oct. 30. Caravel won last year’s Franklin Stakes ahead of her Turf Sprint success.

“(It was a) good run, she just came up a touch short,” Cox said. “I am proud of the effort. She likes it here at Keeneland and ran another great race. The Breeders’ Cup is definitely still something we are pointing towards. We’ll see how she comes out of this race and go from there.”

A homebred for Alex Venneri Racing, who owns Tony Ann in partnership with Anthony Fanticola, the 5-year-old daughter of Cairo Prince reverted to turf sprints earlier last year after winning twice traveling two turns in Southern California. Trouncing allowance company in a five-furlong grass allowance contest at Del Mar in November 2022, she returned this summer with a narrow runner-up effort to stablemate Amy C  in the Daisycutter Handicap July 28 at Del Mar. Shipped to Kentucky Downs for the $1 million Ladies Turf Sprint (G2T), she was beaten a neck and a head for the whole thing when finishing third.

Tony Ann, trained by Phil D’Amato, has now bankrolled $511,883 and bagged half of her ten career outings.

Tony Ann wins the 2023 Franklin Stakes at Keeneland
Photo: Coady Photography/Kurtis Coady

Connections of Tony Ann in the infield after winning the Franklin Stakes at Keeneland

Cairo Prince  , a graded stakes winning son of Pioneerof the Nile, has sired eight stakes winners this year. His daughter Cairo Consort , third in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1), captured the Sweetest Chant (G3T) and Ginger Brew Stakes in 2023. His son My Boy Prince  landed his second stakes win in yesterday’s Cup and Saucer Stakes at Woodbine. Cairo Prince stood the 2023 breeding season for a fee of $15,000 at Airdrie Stud in Midway, Ky.

Tony Ann is the first stakes winner produced by her dam, the In Excess mare Never Ever, who has begat six winners from nine foals to race.

Video: Franklin S. (G2T)



Leave feedback about this

  • Quality
  • Price
  • Service


Add Field


Add Field
Choose Image
Choose Video

Want To Earn From Skills ?

Bonus On New ID