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Ascend Ascending With Another Win at Keeneland TDN

7th-KEE, $64,825, Alw, 10-19, (NW3$X), 3yo/up, 1 1/16mT, 1:43.55, fm.

ASCEND (g, 4, Candy Ride {Arg}–Ghost Dancing {SW, $163,897}, by Silver Ghost) kicked off 2016 with a maiden score going seven furlongs on dirt at Gulfstream and has lived up to his name, steadily climbing through the class ranks throughout the year. Victorious in entry-level allowance company over a grassy mile here Apr. 16, the gray bounced back from two hard luck second-place finishes with an authoritative score going 1 1/16 miles over the turf at Saratoga July 23. He closed belatedly to round out the superfecta there Aug. 22 and was last seen checking in an uncharacteristically dull sixth over this same trip at Belmont Sep. 17. Adding Lasix for this return to Lexington, the 4-year-old was guided off the rail around the first turn and settled into stride in midpack behind a half-mile in 49.59. Forced to pause in search of a clear path on the far turn, Ascend obtained clear sailing once straightened out for the drive and responded willingly, forging past Western Reserve (Indian Charlie) to prevail by a length. The winner is a half to Moro Tap (Tapit), GSP, $161,816; and has a yearling half-brother by Trappe Shot and a weanling half-brother by Quality Road.

Lifetime Record: 12-4-4-0, $224,280. Click for the chart or VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton. O-Stone Farm & Madaket Stables LLC; B-Stone Farm (KY); T-H Graham Motion.