Flaxman Holdings' homebred Sea of Showers and jockey Jerry Bailey won Sunday's $113,000 Jenny Wiley Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Keeneland with a powerful stretch kick for the seemingly invincible trainer Bobby Frankel.
Sea of Showers, ninth in a field of 10 older fillies and mares as she hit the stretch, swung seven wide in the lane and found clear sailing all the way to the wire under brisk urging. The 4-year-old daughter of Seattle Slew remained unbeaten in three United States starts, defeating Magic Mission by 1 1/4 length in 1:41 4/5 for the 1 1/16-mile turf test. Snow Dance, who lacked much punch in the stretch, was a neck back in third.
"Halfway down the backside I was looking for a spot, seeing if something might open up," Bailey said. "I saw six or seven other guys doing the same thing so I didn't think it would open up for me by the time we turned for home. I just got her into a position to angle out, hoping she was good enough and she certainly was."
Magic Mission, with Edgar Prado riding, had a ground-saving trip while racing fifht through fractions of :23 3/5, :48 and 1:12. She split horses as the pacesetters Ever With You and Sentimental Value tired, and got to the front in the final furlong. She was no match for the winner, though, while just managing to hold off the stalking Snow Dance and jockey Jose Santos. Amonita was a head behind Snow Dance to hang on for fourth.
"She ran very good," Prado summed up. "I was happy when it opened up on the inside but the winner was too tough today."
The bay filly Sea of Showers was making her first start for Frankel since winning a one-mile optional claimer at Santa Anita on Jan. 17. She also won an allowance at Hollywood Park on Dec. 8 after shipping to the U.S. from France. She won just once in five starts in France.
The victory was worth $70,246 to Sea of Showers, who has four wins in eight starts for earnings of $161,555. Frankel was not at Keeneland Sunday, returning to California from New York after winning the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct with Empire Maker and the Bluegrass at Keeneland with Peace Rules on Saturday.
Sea of Showers, the 2-1 choice, paid $6.20, $3.80 and $3. Magic Mission returned $6.60 and $4. Snow Dance showed for $3.40. the $2 exacta was worth $43.20.