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Justify Triple Crown Gear

2007 Shadwell Turf Mile and First Lady Stakes

Date: 10/06/2007

The field rounds the turn in the Shadwell Turf Mile with Cosmonaut out front and eventual winner Purim in the back.
Photos courtesy of

First Lady Stakes
Alcibiades Stakes and Breeders' Futurity
Thoroughbred Club of America and Phoenix Stakes

Keeneland Race Course in Lexington continued its "Fallstars" opening weekend with five graded stakes races on Saturday, two of which were on the turf. A crowd of 24,480 was on hand for the festivites, held under cloudy skies with temperatures in the high 80's.

The highlight event on the card was the $600,000 Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) for older horses going 1 mile on the turf in preparation for the Netjets Breeders' Cup Mile. French 2000 Guineas winner Astronomer Royal was sent off as the lukewarm 3-1 favorite, making his first U.S. start in the field of nine over 31-10 second choice Shakis, winner of the Bernard Baruch, and 7-2 third choice Art Master, winner of the Poker at Belmont but 9th in the Woodbine Mile last out.

Purim (outside) catches Cosmonaut in the Shadwell Turf Mile

12-1 T.D. Vance was quickest out of the gate and led the field first time past the stands through a quarter in 23.64 while battling on the pace with 37-1 Spotsgone, who took over the lead on the backstretch after a half in 47.21. T.D. Vance tired after just half a mile, allowing Spotsgone to open up a 1 1/2 length lead on the far turn. However, 5-1 Cosmonaut, who had stalked the pacesetters early, came out four wide to take the lead at the top of the stretch through 3/4 in 1:23.17. Cosmonaut opened up a 2 1/2 length lead with an eighth of a mile to go, but 21-1 longshot Purim, who was sixth early, came out 5 wide into the stretch and closed with a rush to get up by a neck in 1:35.56. It was another 3 3/4 lengths back to late-running Shakis in third. Favorite Astronomer Royal stalked the pace in fourth throughout but showed no rally late, finishing sixth.

Pgm  Horse              Jockey         Win   Place  Show
 3   Purim              Theriot      43.80   16.20   9.00
 7   Cosmonaut          Leparoux              5.80   3.60
 9   Shakis             Garcia                       3.20

Winning Time:  1:35.56

$2 Exacta 3-7               252.80
$2 Trifecta 3-7-9           914.60
$2 Superfecta 3-7-9-5    11,354.60
Results Chart

Purim after the race (left) and in the post parade (right). His trainer Thomas Proctor said, "I'm not one of those guys to run a horse (in the BC Mile) just to run him. He's Breeders' Cup eligible, so we'll see. He's got a little in the bank now."

His jockey Jamie Theriot, celebrating his first Grade 1 victory, said, "We broke good. Our plans were to stalk and save ground, and that's what we did. I never had to steady at all. I got the perfect clean trip. At the 1/8 pole I thought I would get there when I saw how close we were getting to the other horse on the lead, but (Cosmonaut) just kept digging in, digging in, and I was like, 'Hell, I might not get to him.' But then finally at the 1/16 pole my horse gave me a final surge and broke through."

Second place finisher Cosmonaut in the poast parade. The 5-1 fourth choice stalked the pace four wide early under Julien Leparoux, took the lead at the top of the lane, but could not hold off Purim in the final strides. The Patrick Biancone trainee improved his record to 6 wins, 5 seconds, and 1 third in 26 starts earning $826,557 for owner Flying Zee Stable.

Third place finisher Shakis in the paddock before the race. His trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said, "He had some traffic and the post position (9) didn't help us. I'm not sure he loved the turf course here. Horses either love it or hate it. I thought he ran well to be third, but no real excuses."

Vacare (inside) winning the 2007 First Lady Stakes over Precious Kitten.
Photos courtesy of
The distaff counterpart to the Shadwell Mile is the $400,000 First Lady Stakes (G2), for older fillies and mares also going 1 mile on the turf. CashCall Mile winner Lady of Venice was the 7-5 favorite, coming off a 3rd place finish in the Beverly D, over 3-1 second choice Vacare, second in the Ballston Spa last out, and 7-2 third choice Precious Kitten, winner of the John C. Mabee and the Palomar, both at Del Mar.

80-1 outsider Honour Colony was allowed an uncontested 2 length lead early on, and she set fractions of 23.72 and 48.41 before Precious Kitten, who had settled in behind her in second, moved up to challenge for and take over the lead, getting 3/4 in 1:12.98. Precious Kitten held the lead to mid-stretch, but Vacare, who had stalked the pace in fourth the whole way, came out three wide into the lane and wore down Precious Kitten through the final 1/16 to prevail by 1/2 a length in 1:35.85. It was a long 3 1/4 lengths back to 8-1 Quite A Bride in third, and another 1/2 length to favorite Lady of Venice in fourth.

 Pgm  Horse              Jockey         Win   Place  Show
  5   Vacare             Nakatani      7.80    4.00   3.40
  4   Precious Kitten    Bejarano              4.40   3.20
  3   Quite a Bride      Albarado                     4.00

 Winning Time:  1:35.85
 $2 Exacta 5-4                38.00
 $2 Trifecta 5-4-3           188.80
 $2 Superfecta 5-4-3-6       358.60
 Results Chart

Vacare in the paddock before the race. Christophe Lorieul, assistant to winning trainer Christophe Clement said, "She's been very consistent. She was 4-for-4 last year and obviously loves Keeneland. We arrived here 4 days ago and she shipped well. It was a very good setup for us. There was enough speed on the inside and she was very relaxed. She was gutsy at the 1/8 pole and had enough at the end."

Her jockey Corey Nakatani said, "I was able to get in a really good spot, and she ran a great race. She really showed how much she likes Keeneland."

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