The Bobby Frankel-trained Arvada held off favored Humaita by a head to win the $200,000 La Prevoyante Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares on the turf Saturday at Calder Race Course.
Arvada, a British-bred 4-year-old daughter of Hernando, was ridden by Edgar Prado to victory in a time of 2:27 for the 1 1/2-mile event on firm going. The German-bred Humaita, the 5-2 choice in a field of 11, drove late in the stretch for Cornelio Velasquez but ran out of ground as Arvada held on.
Prado let Lenataresse and Ramon Dominguez set the early pace (:24 4/5, :50 3/5) before letting Arvada roll to the front through three quarters in 1:14 4/5 and a mile in 1:39 1/5. It appeared Arvada might get home easily after completing the 10 furlongs in 2:03 1/5, but she came under heavy pressure from the favorite in the final sixteenth.
"Going into the second turn she was eager to go, so I let her go a notch," Prado said. "When she took the lead she relaxed very well. At the top of the stretch she was very game. When a horse came to her, she gave me a hundred percent. I don't think that other horse (Humaita) could have ever gotten by."
The winner and runner-up each won divisions of the Glens Falls Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Saratoga Sept. 5, the Giles Pritchard-Gordon owned Arvada turning in the faster time of the 1 3/8-mile turf events. Arvada returned to run third in the Long Island Handicap (gr. IIT) as the favorite at Aqueduct Nov. 6, her last start. The victory, her fourth in 18 starts increased her earnings to $309,651.
Brian Lynch, lead assistant trainer for Frankel in Florida, said Arvada would remain in training in 2005.
As the second choice, the bay filly paid $8, $3.80 and $34.0. Humaita returned $3.60 and $3.20. Honey Ryder, Manoel Cruz aboard, was another 1 1/2 lengths behind after closing from last after a mile, paid $9.40 to show.
Ocean Silk, Iowa's Image, Lenatareese, My Dear Lady, Savedbythelight, Something Ventured, Literacy and Cozie Advantage followed.