Edmund Gann's Personal Legend returned to the dirt to register her first graded stakes victory in Saturday's $110,700 Turnback the Alarm Handicap (gr. III) for fillies and mares at Aqueduct.
The 4-year-old daughter of Awesome Again
won for the first time on the main track, coming from far back with Jerry Bailey in the irons to nab Roar Emotion and rider John Velazaquez in the closing stages for a neck triumph. Fast Cookie was a distant third in the 1 1/8-mile event, which was timed in 1:51 1/5 on a fast track.
Bobby Frankel trains the winner, who ran seventh in the one-mile Noble Damsel Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the Belmont Park turf Sept. 25 in her last start.
"I figured she was getting a little more one-paced," Frankel said. "She was losing her turn of foot, so I decided to put her back on the dirt. I didn't know if we were going to catch the other horse (Roar Emotion). It looked like the other horse got just a little weak the last part."
Favored Capeside Lady led into the stretch, completing the opening fractions in :24 1/5; :48 4/5 and 1:13 while under heavy pressure from Misty Sixes. With Fast Cookie applying additional pressure in the upper stretch, Capeside Lady faded.
Roar Emotion pulled away from Capeside Lady and Fast Cookie in mid-stretch and appeared to have things under control, but she could not hold off the wide surge of Personal Legend, who was not involved early after breaking from the rail.
"She was more into the race than I thought she might be," Bailey said. "She had the right kind of style for this kind of race. She was very game."
Personal Legend, graded stakes placed on the grass, had not run on the dirt since a closing second to Victory Encounter in the 1 1/16-mile El Encino at Santa Anita Park in January. It was her fourth start on the main track in 17 career starts. The victory, her fifth, pushed her lifetime earnings over the $400,000 mark.
G. Watts Humphrey and Louise I. Humphrey bred the chestnut Personal Legend, who was produced from the Storm Bird mare Highland Legend, in Kentucky.
She paid $9.90, $5.90 and $3.90. Roar Emotion returned $9 and $5 while completing a $64 exacta. Fast Cookie was $6.80 to show.
Capeside Lady, Cloak of Vagueness, Misty Sixes, Fortunate Damsel, Nevermore and Pocus Hocus completed the order.