Keen Liaison wins Sterlie Bertram Memorial
It’s been a tremendous season for Keen Liaison. The sophomore daughter of Sixes Liaison has earned wins in five of her six starts for the year, just missing a perfect season by a nose in mid May. Now, the bay filly adds her second stakes win of the season to her credentials as she and jockey Ron Hisby were comfortable winners in the ninth running of the $123,700 Sterlie Bertram Memorial Stakes Saturday, Sept. 30 at Indiana Grand.
Starting from post two in the 10-horse final, Keen Liaison was primed and ready for the start, shooting out of the Steve Peterman starting gate on point to grab good positioning early on in the 400-yard dash. Zoomin B Cartel and Luis Guerrero also showed quick speed at the start from the center of the pack as the field stayed tightly bunched through the first half of the race. As the wire neared, Keen Liaison began to show her dominance, powering under the wire to win by one and one-quarter lengths over HH Kentucky Krome and Oscar Macias, who finished just a head in front of Dreamers Liaison and Rodney Prescott for second. Less than a length separated second through sixth places in the tight photo at the end.
“She (Keen Liaison) is a nice horse,” said Hisby. “I love this horse. She gallops so good in the morning. We got a good break tonight and had no problems. And, the last 100 yards, she finishes strong.”
Owned by James Black, Keen Liaison nearly doubled her career bankroll to a little more than $152,000 with the victory. With only one start at two, the talented filly is now five for seven lifetime with all five wins recorded under the guidance of trainer Erin Thompson.
“She (Keen Liaison) has been such a nice horse since we got her,” said Thompson. “She is easy to train and great to be around. She broke great tonight and did her thing. And, Ronald Hisby did a great job with her like he always does. Those two are a pair.”
Keen Liaison completed the dash in a time of :19.981 seconds. Tagged as the favorite of the field, she paid $4.40, $3.40, $3.20 across the board.
When asked about her next start, Thompson noted, “She’s done for the year. We will be back next year with her.”
Members of the Sterlie Bertram family were on hand to present the trophy to the connections of Keen Liaison. In addition to the trophy provided by the Indiana Quarter Horse Breed Development, Dr. Timm Gudehus and Dr. Alec Davern were on hand to present the filly with a custom made blanket from the Centaur Equine Specialty Hospital, located just a few miles from Indiana Grand. The facility opened in February 2017 and has been a huge asset to the horse racing community, providing all types of specialty equine care. The facility also includes a 4DDI digital imaging machine, which is only one of four in the country currently operational for the most extensive diagnostic care for horses.