LEXINGTON, KY – Pantofel Stable, Wachtel Stable, and Peter Deutsch’s Spiced Perfection overcame an awkward beginning to split foes in mid-stretch and hold on late to win Saturday’s $250,000 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes (G2) at Keeneland.

The Thoroughbred Club of America is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” event, with Spiced Perfection receiving an automatic berth in the Filly & Mare Sprint at Santa Anita Park this November.

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Stumbling as she broke from post 3 at 4/1 odds, Spiced Perfection nearly lost jockey Javier Castellano before they both recovered, though the filly found herself near the rear. Up front, Talk Veuve to Me set the opening pace, posting fractions of :22.14 and :45.21 through the far turn.

Spiced Perfection, having angled to the rail as she rejoined the field, began sidling up past foes on the inside heading into the far turn before tipping off midway through and continuing to climb. Turning for home in fourth, Spiced Perfection found room between Talk Veuve to Me and Chalon in mid-stretch and powered her way through.

After taking command, Spiced Perfection had to dig in and withstand a late challenge from Dawn the Destroyer before crossing a head clear at the wire. The Peter Miller trainee completed the 6-furlong sprint over the fast main track in a final time of 1:10.60.

“She stumbled really bad coming out of the gate,” Castellano said. “She recovered pretty quick and we kept tracking the speed. We got through a little, tiny hole at the 1/8 pole. The filly was very brave to go through that hole and get it done.”

Mia Mischief failed to advance from her early stalking position and had to settle for third ahead of Chalon, the 2/1 favorite who weakened in the stretch. Ours to Run was fifth ahead of a three-way photo for sixth that went to Danuska’s My Girl over a fading Talk Veuve to Me and Pretty Greeley. Completing the order of finish was Razorback Lady.

Spiced Perfection’s win was her second of the year, having won the 7-furlong Madison Stakes (G1) here on April 6, and improved her record to 18-8-5-2. The 4-year-old California-bred daughter of Smiling Tiger became racing’s newest millionaire after the first-place prize of $150,000 bumped her earnings to $1,026,905.

“This horse has been great ever since she started racing,” said part-owner Bob Flynn. “18 races now, eight wins, and she just never quits. I’ve never had one in the Breeders’ Cup.”

Spiced Perfection returned $10.20 to win, $5.60 to place, and $4 to show. Dawn the Destroyer brought back $8.40 to place and $5 to show, while Mia Mischief paid $4.40 to show.