2017/11/03 14:25
CONTENDERS

Keen Ice

Five-year-old Keen Ice doesn't win often — but when he does, he sure makes it count. 

He's best known for being the only horse to beat American Pharoah during his three-year-old season in 2015 — the year American Pharoah became the first horse to win the elusive Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978. Keen Ice, sent off at 16-1, unleashed a furious late run to beat him in the Travers Stakes at Saratoga. American Pharoah went on to a huge win in the Breeders' Cup Classic that year at Keeneland and to Horse of the Year honors.

Keen Ice's second graded stakes win came this June, when he rolled to an upset in the Suburban Handicap at Belmont, defeating heavily-favored Shaman Ghost. That was just his third lifetime win in 22 starts, but he's earned over $3 million in his career.

Since his Suburban triumph, Keen Ice has finished second in two Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Challenge races. He was the runner-up to Gun Runner in the 1 1/8-mile Whitney at Saratoga on Aug. 5 and finished one length behind Diversify in the 1 ¼-mile Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park on Oct. 7.

The son of two-time Horse of the Year Curlin has also picked up some big checks in some of the sport's most valuable races. During his 3-year-old season, he was second in the Haskell at Monmouth, third in the Belmont Stakes and fourth in the Breeders' Cup Classic. He improved that Classic finish position at four, running third at Santa Anita.

The Suburban victory came in his third start of this year. He ran fourth in the world's richest race, the $12 million Pegasus Invitational at Gulfstream (held for the first time this year), and was unplaced in the Dubai World Cup half a world away.

Donegal Racing paid $120,000 to purchase Keen Ice at the 2013 Keeneland September Yearling sale. The storied Calumet Farm in Lexington bought into him this year, and Keen Ice will start his stallion duties there when he retires from the racetrack.

Jerry Crawford founded Donegal Racing, which operates many racing partnerships, in 2008. An avid racing fan, Crawford developed an algorithm to try to pick classic winners to wager on. When that worked, he decided to see if would be just as effective in picking out racing prospects.

“In 2008, I thought, ‘I am going to go to Kentucky, I’m going to buy a horse that fits my formula and see what happens,’” Crawford told Jessica Martini in a September, 2015 Thoroughbred Daily News article.

“I’d bought horses before,” Crawford said. “I wasn’t a stranger to the business, but it was the first time I tried to use the algorithm that we’d created to buy a horse. And in September of 2008, the stock market collapsed and the first thing people stopped doing was buying horses. So, having been prepared to spend $250,000 to buy one horse, I spent $410,000 on eight. Then I was flying home trying to figure out how I was going to avoid paying alimony after I told my wife Linda that I’d bought eight horses. My buddies had always said, ‘Go buy horses and we’ll be partners.’ And that’s how Donegal racing got started–that year that I bought eight horses, not quite by accident.” 

Lifetime Stats

Earnings
$

Previous Races

ReplayDateRaceTrackGradeFinish
No Replay
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October 07, 2017Jockey Club Gold Cup S.BELMONT PARK12
No Replay
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August 05, 2017Whitney S.SARATOGA12
No Replay
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July 08, 2017Suburban S.BELMONT PARK21
No Replay
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March 25, 2017Dubai World Cup Sponsored By Emirates AirlineMEYDAN RACECOURSE17
No Replay
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January 28, 2017Pegasus World Cup Invitational S.GULFSTREAM PARK14
ReplayDateRaceTrackGradeFinish
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December 17, 2016Harlan's Holiday S.GULFSTREAM PARK32
No Replay
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November 05, 2016Breeders' Cup ClassicSANTA ANITA PARK13
No Replay
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October 07, 2016 BELMONT PARK 3
No Replay
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March 26, 2016Dubai World Cup Sponsored By Emirates AirlineMEYDAN RACECOURSE18
No Replay
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March 05, 2016Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3 Sponsored By EmiratesMEYDAN RACECOURSE17
No Replay
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February 06, 2016Donn H.GULFSTREAM PARK16
ReplayDateRaceTrackGradeFinish
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November 27, 2015Clark H.CHURCHILL DOWNS14
No Replay
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October 31, 2015Breeders' Cup ClassicKEENELAND14
No Replay
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August 29, 2015Travers S.SARATOGA11
No Replay
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August 02, 2015William Hill Haskell Invitational S.MONMOUTH PARK12
No Replay
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June 06, 2015Belmont S. presented by DraftKingsBELMONT PARK13
No Replay
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May 02, 2015Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! BrandsCHURCHILL DOWNS17
No Replay
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March 28, 2015Louisiana DerbyFAIR GROUNDS24
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February 21, 2015Risen Star S.FAIR GROUNDS23
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January 24, 2015Lambholm South Holy Bull S.GULFSTREAM PARK25
ReplayDateRaceTrackGradeFinish
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November 29, 2014Remsen S.AQUEDUCT23
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October 04, 2014Claiborne Breeders' FuturityKEENELAND15
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September 06, 2014 CHURCHILL DOWNS 1
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August 23, 2014 ELLIS PARK 4