Belmont Stakes Contenders
Black-Eyed Susan Day
Preakness Thursday Photos
Jockey Julien Leparoux and Filly and Mare Sprint winner Informed Decision in the winner's circle.
The $1 million Sentient Jet Filly and Mare Sprint (G1) featured a field of 9 older fillies and mares going 7 furlongs around one turn of the synthetic Pro-Ride main track. 2008 Filly and Mare Sprint winner Ventura was back, sent off as the 4-5 favorite exiting a win against males in the Woodbine Mile after finishing second in the Madison at Keeneland. In to challenge her included 7-2 second choice Informed Decision, winner of the Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes and the Presque Isle Downs Masters, and 5-1 third choice Sara Louise, second in the Gallant Bloom after winning the Victory Ride.
Informed Decision holds off Ventura in the stretch run with Free Flying Soul behind them.
Jockey Mike Smith sent 35-1 outsider Free Flying Soul to the lead exiting the chute and she was soon joined by Informed Decision to contest the pace through fractions of 23.23 and 45.95. Jockey Garrett Gomez kept Ventura back in 8th early, just 5 lengths off the lead. Entering the stretch, Informed Decision pulled away from Free Flying Soul, opening up a 1 length advantage in mid-stretch through 6 furlongs in 1:09.66. Ventura closed with a rush down the center of the track but was left with too much ground to make up, as Informed Decision cruised under the line 1 1/4 lengths in front in 1:21.66. It was a long 3 lengths back to pacesetter Free Flying Soul third.
This was the second of three Breeders' Cup wins for jockey Julien Leparoux, who won
the Bill Shoemaker Award as the Outstanding Jockey of the 2009 Breeders' Cup. He was the only jockey to win more than one Breeders' Cup race. His other wins were aboard She Be Wild in the Juvenile Fillies and Furthest Land in the Dirt Mile, also he was third with Forever Together in the Filly and Mare Turf.
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 7 Informed Decision Leparoux 8.80 3.00 2.80 9 Ventura Gomez 2.60 2.20 1 Free Flying Soul Smith 7.40 Winning Time: 1:21.66 $1 Exacta 7-9 7.70 $1 Trifecta 7-9-1 120.60 $1 Superfecta 7-9-1-2 540.00Results chart
Left: Owner George Strawbridge Jr. of Augustin Stable leads Informed Decision as she parades with her flowers.
Right: The trophy presentation with Steve Hankin, CEO of Sentient Jet, owner George Strawbridge Jr., his wife Nina, and trainer Jonathan Sheppard. Sheppard said, "She was always up there – clear and close to the pace. She got the lead in plenty of time and kept
driving to the wire. If there were a chink to her armor, Ventura would have caught her but she finished up strongly. She usually does. It worked out perfectly. Julien (jockey Leparoux) gave her a great ride."
Left: Informed Decision comes out of the tunnel to the track before the race. Her jockey Julien Leparoux said, "She broke good, and put me right where I wanted to be early in the race. She was nice and relaxed and comfortable. I was very happy from the start because I know what kind of kick she can give me. She can win any way. She's a champion. That's what champions do. She just has to be comfortable, whether she's in front, close to the pace, or behind."
Right: Informed Decision heads back to the barn after the race.
Left: Second place finisher and beaten favorite Venturs runs out after the race. Her jockey Garrett Gomez said, "Pace makes the race. They were going exceptionally slow up front and there wasn't any one up there to help me. She gave me her usual kick as we started to make our run. She's the kind of filly that you have to time just right. If I ask her too soon, that's not good either. When my filly kicked in, she started to gain on the other one, but she kicked in too and went into a higher gear. I just couldn't catch her."
Right: Third place finisher Free Flying Soul in the post parade. Her jockey Mike Smith said, "She came running out of there, and with no real pace in the race I just let her go. She was dead-game all the way and just kept on trying. She wasn't near as seasoned as those other fillies, which is all the more to her credit. I thought she ran dynamite."
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