Bruce Lunsford's Madcap Escapade joined the equine millionaire ranks with an impressive 5 ¼-length victory in the $500,000 Princess Rooney Handicap (gr. II) on the "Summit of Speed" card Sunday at Calder Race Course.
The 4-year-old daughter of Hennessy
won her third graded stakes in four starts with a front-running victory while getting the six furlongs in 1:09.93.
"She was getting hold of the surface well,'' jockey Jerry Bailey said. "It helped her cause to finish well when she didn't try to run off down the backside. She waited for me to call on her. She's starting to settle a little bit -- at least for her. That way you can harness her speed for a little bit more turning for home.''
Racing on the inside after breaking from the outside post position in the six-horse field, Madcap Escapade was initially challenged by Molto Vita and Prospective Saint and then turned back challenges from Savorthetime and Sensibly Chic.
Madcap Escapade paid $3.00, $2.40, and $2.10 as the 1-2 favorite. Happy Ticket paid $2.80 and $2.20 for her second-place finish and Savorthetime paid $2.20 for the show spot.
Trained by Frank Brothers, Madcap Escapade was coming off a fifth-place finish in the Humana Distaff Handicap (gr. I) on May 7 at Churchill Downs.
"My concern was that she didn't break well. You find a whole myriad of problems doing that with a sprinter,'' Bailey said. "But she's doing it so well now. If she continues she probably deserves a chance.''
Bred in Kentucky by Needham/Betz Thoroughbreds and James Blackburn, Madcap Escapade has seven wins in nine lifetime starts and earned $1,052,852. The filly was sold at the 2002 Keeneland September yearling sale for $100,000.