Three Diamonds Farm’s Bigger Picture rallied four wide in deep stretch to collar Red Knight and favored Zulu Alpha to post a half-length victory in the 34th running of the $250,000 Dixiana Elkhorn (G2) for 4-year-olds and up before a Saturday afternoon crowd of 17,256.
Trained by Mike Maker and ridden by Tyler Gaffalione, Bigger Picture covered the 1½ miles on a yielding turf course at Keeneland in 2:32.00. The victory was the third in the race for Maker, who won with Dark Cove in 2013 and Da Big Hoss in 2016.
Final Copy led the field of 10 through fractions of :24.45, :50.31, 1:16.36 and 1:41.85 as Bigger Picture saved ground while running in midpack. On the far turn, Red Knight, Zulu Alpha and Tiz a Slam moved at the leader as Bigger Picture waited behind horses.
In the stretch, Final Copy dropped out of contention as did Tiz a Slam, leaving a two-way duel until just inside the sixteenth pole, when Bigger Picture emerged on the scene to draw clear in the final yards.
“The horse broke good. He put himself in a nice position,” Gaffalione said. “We saved ground around both turns. I just followed Jose (Ortiz on Zulu Alpha) when he made his move, and (Bigger Picture) grinded it out. All the credit goes to (trainer) Mike (Maker) and his team; they do a fabulous job.”
The victory was worth $150,000 and increased Bigger Picture’s earnings to $1,646,635 with a record of 40-13-7-5. It was his sixth graded stakes victory.
Bigger Picture is an 8-year-old Kentucky-bred gelded son of Badge of Silver out of the Honour and Glory mare Glory Dancer.
Bigger Picture returned $16.60, $7.60 and $4. Red Knight, ridden by Luis Saez, returned $6.60 and $4.20, with Zulu Alpha finishing another half-length back in third under Jose Ortiz and paying $2.40 to show.
It was another half-length back to Tiz a Slam, who was followed in order by Vettori Kin (BRZ), Canessar (FR), Hunter O’Riley, Final Copy, Leitone (CHI) and Soglio.