Keen Ice is a bit of an enigma. The 4-year-old colt has but two wins to his credit — but one really stands out. He is one of only two horses to beat last year’s winner of the Triple Crown and Breeders' Cup Classic, Horse of the Year American Pharoah.
Keen Ice upset the champ in last year’s $1.25 million Travers Stakes at Saratoga at odds of 16-1. The Curlin colt had a rough trip, but wore down American Pharoah to win by three-quarters of a length.
Trained by Dale Romans at three, Keen Ice also ran third in the Belmont and second in the Haskell. He closed out the year with a pair of fourths in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland and the Clark Handicap at Churchill.
The Travers and his maiden victory are the only two notches in his win column from 17 starts, but he has earned a remarkable $1,827,645.
Keen Ice was transferred to trainer Todd Pletcher this spring after lackluster efforts in the Donn Handicap at Gulfstream and in the Al Makhtoum Challenge and Dubai World Cup, both at Meydan Racecourse.
After a layoff, he was third at Belmont in an allowance race going a mile Oct. 7 in a prep for the Breeders' Cup Classic.
His name, inspired by his sire Curlin, comes from a term in the sport of curling for fast or “keen” ice.