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LEXINGTON, KY – Carl R. Moore Management’s multiple graded stakes winner Finley’sluckycharm didn’t make it look easy, but she finally scored her first career Grade 1 victory in Saturday’s $300,000 Madison Stakes at Keeneland.
Breaking well from the outside in the 10-horse field under Brian Hernandez, Jr., Finley’sluckycharm pressured early leader American Gal through opening splits of :21.96 and :44.31. Breaking off of the turn in a tightly-packed group, the field continued to run close together throughout the length of the stretch. In the final jumps, Finley’sluckycharm emerged from a four-way photo finish to win by two noses and a head in a final time of 1:22.82 for the 7-furlong main track event.
“She’s a naturally fast filly,” said Hernandez, Jr. “Her last couple of races, she didn’t get away very smoothly, so today, that was our game plan: get her away from there running. She’s one of the special fillies – the faster she goes, she just kind of runs horses off their feet, and that’s what she did today.”
The photo awarded second to Miss Sunset, with the favored Lewis Bay taking third over American Gal:
Salty, Ami’s Mesa, Tequilita, Ms Locust Point, Natural Wonder, and Teresa Z completed the order of finish. Berned, Mines and Magic, and Sailor’s Valentine were scratched.
Finley’sluckycharm returned to the winner’s circle for the first time since taking the Grade 2 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes here last fall. The Bret Calhoun-trained 5-year-old daughter of Twirling Candy now sports a record of 15-10-3-0 with earnings of $788,368.
“Unbelievable,” Calhoun said. “This was a great one for us. She’s been very deserving of a Grade 1, and we’re so happy to get it here at Keeneland.”
Finley’sluckycharm returned $13.80 to win, $7.20 to place, and $4.60 to show. Miss Sunset brought back $8.20 to place and $4.60 to show, while Lewis Bay paid $3.40 to show.
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