Augustin Stable’s Informed Decision, the 2009 champion female sprinter, kicks off her 2010 campaign at Keeneland April 8 when she’ll attempt to repeat in the Vinery Madison Stakes (gr. I). The $300,000 race at seven furlongs for older fillies and mares drew a field of six.
Post time for the Madison is approximately 4:35 p.m. (EST). Keeneland’s first post is 1:05 p.m.
Last year the Jonathan Sheppard-trained daughter of Monarchos defeated Ventura by a head in the Madison, then topped her again in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (gr. I) at Oak Tree to earn the Eclipse Award.
Informed Decision is a perfect four-for-four over the Polytrack at Keeneland. With three stakes wins, a score in the Madison would make her only the second horse to win four stakes at Keeneland, joining Take Charge Lady.
Julien Leparoux, who has ridden Informed Decision in her past six starts, starting with her rousing score last May in the Humana Distaff (gr. I) at Churchill Downs on Derby Day, will be aboard in the Madison.
In all, she’s won 11 of 14 starts and has earned more than $1.7 million. Bred by Charles Kidder and Nancy Cole, she was purchased for George Strawbridge’s Augustin Stable by Patrice Miller, EQB, agent, out of the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale of 2-year-olds in May of 2007.
The main competition to the 5-year-old Informed Decision may come in the form of California shipper Starlarks, who races for Dolantori Racing.
Starlarks, who has done most of her running on turf for trainer Paddy Gallagher, finished second to Evita Argentina in the La Brea (gr. I) going seven furlongs on the Pro-Ride surface at Santa Anita on their opening day program (Dec. 26). Her last start was a dull ninth-place effort on the turf in the Buena Vista Handicap (gr. IIT)
Sprint specialist Dubai Majesty returns to Keeneland and a run at the Madison. She was fourth in last year’s running, beaten 2 ½ lengths, and was third behind Informed Decision in the Humana Distaff. Her last victory came over the turf at Keeneland in last fall’s Buffalo Trace Franklin County Stakes at 5 ½ furlongs. Earlier this year she was second, beaten a nose, in the Hill ‘n’ Dale Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Sprint at Santa Anita.
$300,000 Vinery Madison Stakes (gr. I), Race 8, 3:45 p.m. EST, fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up, seven furlongs (Polytrack)
PP, Horse, Wgt., Jockey
1, Starlarks, 117, A Solis
2, Dubai Majesty, 117, J Theriot
3, Direct Line, 117, G Gomez
4, Dr. Zic, 117, K Desormeaux
5, Witty, 117, V Espinoza
6, Informed Decision, 123, J Leparoux