LEXINGTON, Ky. (Keeneland) – Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Michael Cloonan and Tim Thornton’s Blame Debbie held off Always Shopping through a stretch-long duel by a head to win the 29th running of the $125,000 Rood & Riddle Dowager (G3) for fillies and mares Sunday afternoon.
Trained by Graham Motion and ridden by Manny Franco, Blame Debbie covered the 1½ miles on a firm turf course in 2:34.74 and became the first 3-year-old to win the race.
Blame Debbie is cataloged to Keeneland’s November Breeding Stock Sale, which begins Nov. 9. Consigned as a racing or broodmare prospect by Bluewater Sales, agent, she is Hip 1310.
Sunday’s victory in the Rood & Riddle Dowager is the third in the race for Motion, who previously triumphed with Kitten’s Point in 2015 and Humaita (GER) in 2004.
Blame Debbie went right to the front with Always Shopping tracking just off her flank to the outside through fractions of :26.66, :53.68, 1:20.68 and 1:46.98.
On the far turn, Tyler Gaffalione on Always Shopping turned up the pressure and drew alongside Blame Debbie. The two ran as a team the rest of the way with Blame Debbie never letting her older rival get in front.
The victory was worth $75,000 and increased Blame Debbie’s earnings to $215,920 with a record of 10-3-1-3. It is the first stakes victory for the Kentucky-bred daughter of Blame out of the Invasor (ARG) mare Jadwa. She is a graduate of Keeneland’s 2018 September Yearling Sale.
Sent off as the favorite, Blame Debbie paid $5, $3.20 and $2.60. Always Shopping returned $4 and $2.80 and finished 2¼ lengths in front of With Dignity, who paid $2.60 to show under Julien Leparoux.
It was another half-length back to Over Thinking, who was followed in order by Siberian Iris (IRE) and Naomi Broadway (BRZ).
The final four days of the 17-day Fall Meet kick off Wednesday afternoon with an eight-race program beginning at 1:05 ET.
Keeneland will offer a Super High 5 carryover of $24,224.49.