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Kent Desormeaux celebrates his win aboard Unrivaled Belle in the Ladies Classic.
The highlight race on Friday is the $2 million Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic (G1), formerly known as the Distaff until 2007. A field of 11 older fillies and mares went 1 1/8 miles on the main track, with Kentucky Oaks (G1), Delaware Oaks (G2), and Alabama Stakes (G1) winner Blind Luck sent off as the 3-2 favorite off a close 2nd in the Cotillion (G2) last out. In to challenge her included 7-2 second choice Life at Ten, winner of the Beldame (G1) at Belmont Park, and 6-1 third choice Havre de Grace, winner of the Cotillion.
Unrivaled Belle leads down the stretch over Blind Luck.
First time past the stands, 8-1 Malibu Prayer opened up a clear lead of 2 lengths, getting early fractions of 24.66 and 49.09 over the fast track with 26-1 Acting Happy stalking her in second. Favorite Blind Luck was 10th early 11 lengths out of it for the first 5/8 mile. At the 3/8 pole, 7-1 Unrivaled Belle, 5th early, came on to take the lead into the turn, getting 3/4 in 1:13.75 and 1 mile in 1:37.98, opening up a 2 length lead in mid-stretch. Blind Luck unleashed her rally on the turn but was left with too much ground to recover, as Unrivaled Belle easily held her off by 1 3/4 lengths in 1:50.04. It was another length back to Havre de Grace third. Life at Ten broke poorly, was last and 36 1/2 lengths out after 1/2 a mile and was eased at the finish.
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 8 Unrivaled Belle Desormeaux 17.00 5.80 4.20 10 Blind Luck Rosario 3.20 2.40 11 Havre de Grace Rose 4.00 Winning Time: 1:50.04 $2 Exacta 8-10 54.80 $2 Trifecta 8-10-11 215.20 $1 Superfecta 8-10-11-2 1,668.00Results chart
Left: Unrivaled Belle circles before going into the winner's circle. Trainer Bill Mott said,"I think it was the way Kent rode her today; the break and the way she settled. She made an explosive move around the turn leaving the 3/8 pole and just took the lead away from everybody. I just have to give Kent the credit. He pulled the trigger and it worked out. We opened up on the field and left them in her dust."
Right: Unrivaled Belle in the post parade. Jockey Kent Desormeaux said, "I love the Jumbotrons. I hate to say it, I started watching TV at the 1/8 pole. I was some 3 1/2 lengths ahead then. I looked again at the 1/16 pole, and I was some 2 1/2 then or 3 still, 3 1/2. She was still powering in the wire. There was no give in her stride. And at that point, I was very, very confident that she would win. I put the stick down and let her carry me under the wire."
Left: Second place finisher and beaten favorite Blind Luck in the post parade. Jockey Joel Rosario said, "She did everything like she always does. She broke good and got good position, but I had a good trip on the inside. The horse on the outside of me started to back up and I got in the clear. We moved when I wanted her to and she just ran like she wanted to win, but the winner was too good."
Right: Third place finisher Havre de Grace in the post parade. Trainer Tony Dutrow said, "I thought my filly ran great. She gave it all she had and that's all I can ask. She was great." Jockey Jeremy Rose added, "I had a great trip; flawless. She ran her fanny off. She always does. She never stops trying."
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