In Monday's National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Handicap (gr. II), the "smart money" was on Claiborne Farm homebred Patrol, seeking his fourth consecutive victory after finishing third in his career debut.
Ridden by Hall of Famer Jerry Bailey and trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, who earlier in the day was part of the Hall of Fame induction ceremony for Cigar, Patrol had a troubled start before recovering to take the early lead in the 1 1/8 mile turf test. Patrol set relatively fast early fractions of :23 1/5, :46 3/5, and 1:10 4/5 while being stalked by American Style and Union Place and appeared on his way to victory at 3-5 odds.
But jockey Pat Day, also a member of the Hall of Fame, had other ideas as he took Mansell Stables' Quest Star between horses in mid-stretch to pull off the upset at 11-1.
Quest Star completed the 1 1/8 miles on turf in 1:49 3/5 and paid $25.00, $10.20, and $2.10. Union Place was worth $7.90 and $2.10 and Patrol held on for third, returning $2.10.
The winner, a 3-year-old son of Broad Brush, was bred in Kentucky by John Messara and was sold at last year's Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's March 2-year-olds in training sale for $150,000.
Trained by Elliott Walden, Quest Star has won two of 11 starts, with four runner-up efforts, and three third-place finishes.
"We've gotten off to a decent start with some seconds and thirds, so it's nice to finally get a win and to get it in a stakes race," Walden said. "When I saw :23 and :46 3/5, I thought we had a good chance. He's always been kind of a bridesmaid. He's made about $160,000 (before the race) and only had the one win. I can't say I expected him to mow them all down, but we changed tactics in his last race. It looked like we really taught him something. The fractions didn't hurt us."
"The break was horrible," said Patrol's jockey, Bailey. "He was standing well, he just didn't break good and they just shut the door right on him. And I just took him right to the fence, hoping for a ground-saving trip -- you know, pick up what the race gave me. Edgar (Prado, on No. 1 Union Place, the eventual runner-up) stayed off the fence and Patrol just pulled himself right up in there. And he got awful rank. He was rank before the race. "