Dolphus Morrison's homebred Gold Edge won Saturday's Grade 3, $150,000 Arlington-Washington Lassie as a surprising 10-1 chance despite having won the one-mile race's local prep, the seven-furlong Lisa M, as an 8-5 favorite five weeks earlier.
Leading by a head through an opening quarter of :22 4/5, Gold Edge yielded to 36-1 longshot La Song down the backside, and that gray opened up a two-length advantage through splits of :45 3/5 and 1:10 3/5. Maintaining her position on the inside passing the quarter pole, Gold Edge shifted out turning for home and chipped away at La Song's tenuous lead through the long stretch. Meanwhile, 12-1 chance Dancinginthecircle also began to make a solid rally up the rail, inside of La Song.Not much separated the three fillies in the final sixteenth, but it was Gold Edge who finally got up in the final yards to deny both La Song and Dancinginthecircle by a neck under Chris Emigh. The final time was 1:37 4/5, with Gold Edge returning $23.40, $11.60 and $7.
"I wasn't sure we were going to get there until the last couple of jumps," Emigh said. "She's been training so good (since her last race). I knew she might get beat (today) but they were really going to have to run to beat her. She's been training awesome and she tries her heart out."
La Song bravely held on by a nose for the place over Dancinginthecircle, with Custody 2 1/2 lengths behind in fourth.
The Lassie was marred by an incident at the top of the stretch when You Bought Her clipped heels with American Sugar and fell. You Bought Her apparently escaped serious injury, as did her rider Julio Felix. American Sugar, who crossed the wire in seventh, was disqualified for causing the interference and placed last of 13 behind American Sugar.
In between Custody and You Bought Her in the official order of finish were 7-2 favorite Pappascat, Bridgette Bordeaux, Dancing Elliebelle, Flying Rapunzel, Quiet Success and Bethany Belle. Love Me Good was scratched.
A daughter of Eddington, Gold Edge was an impressive debut winner in a $50,000 maiden claimer at Churchill Downs June 24. Overcoming a slow start where she was unprepared and lost her footing, Gold Edge settled within striking range in the five-furlong dash and won going away by 2 3/4 lengths at odds of 19-1. Switched to Polytrack for her next start in the Lisa M, Gold Edge again showed rating tactics and grinded her way to a three-quarters of a length victory in the August 4 heat. She's now earned $138,429.
Bred in Kentucky, Gold Edge is the first foal to race from the Pioneering mare Gold Spike. Gold Edge is expected to be sold with the rest of Morrison's bloodstock at a dispersal sale in November.