Ivan Dalos' Fly for Avie, ridden by Todd Kabel, won the $330,000 E.P. Taylor Stakes (Can-I) on Sunday, defeating co-favorites Lady Upstage and Innuendo in a blanket finish. The winner surged down the stretch on the outside to win the 1 1/4-mile race on firm turf in 2:02.78. She won by a nose over Lady Upstage, with Innuendo another nose behind in third.
"I was waiting for the longest time before I swung her over heels to get out," said Kabel, having one of his best years. "I was certainly worried."
Alexis, finished fourth, 1 1/4 lengths behind the top group. Lady At Peace and Melody Queen completed the order of finish. The race, for fillies and mares 3 years old and up, lost some of its luster when Wild Heart Dancing and Amalia were scratched.
The win marks the first graded stakes win for Fly for Avie (Lord Avie--Fly for Baby, by Arctic Tern), who was bred in Kentucky by Brian Grassick Bloodstock. The David R. Bell-trained 5-year-old mare improved her career mark to five wins from 25 starts with the victory, her first of the year.
Fly for Avie returned $18.20, $5.90 and $3.30. Lady Upstage paid $3.70 and $3.10. Innuendo was worth $3.60 to show. The winning exacta combination was worth $96.90. (Chart, Equibase