The 12-1 outsider Bayou’s Lassie got the jump on the rest of the field and galloped home a clear 1 1/4-length winner in the $169,050 Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (gr. IIIT) (VIDEO) May 3. She defeated top runners such as the 2006 Eclipse Award-winning Dreaming of Anna, grade I winner Sharp Susan and grade II winner Ventura.
The Distaff Turf was the third graded stakes victory for Bayou's Lassie, who also won the 2007 Stage Door Betty Handicap (gr. IIIT) and the 2006 Frances A. Genter Stakes (gr. IIIT).
The 5-year-old daughter of Outflanker, trained by Dale Romans, stepped forward in this race off a two-length score in the April 5 L and D Farm Turf Distaff Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs.
“All we had to do was keep her tuned up and ready to roll,” said Romans of the winner. "We tried to take the race to Dreaming of Anna, thought if we could get in front of her and make her try to take back off (the lead), we might have more horse than her turning for home, and it worked out perfectly. Edgar rode a perfect race."
Under Prado, the mare moved to the inside from post seven and settled on a comfortable lead with early fractions of :24.44, :48.12, and 1:12.60. Dreaming of Anna, the 7-5 choice in the field of eight, tracked in second for Cornelio Velasquez.
“It seemed like my filly ran really well on the front end, and Dreaming of Anna’s place is on the front end, too,” said Prado. “I decided to lead them and my filly just ran her eyeballs out; she tried real hard.”
Going up the backside, Dreaming of Anna continued to chase the pace in second while Ventura was third and New Edition raced in fourth. That order was nearly unchanged when the field hit the wire with Bayou’s Lassie skating home the clear winner in a final time of 1:37.70. Dreaming of Anna challenged the winner in upper stretch but gave way while holding second by 2 1/2 lengths over second choice Ventura, ridden by Garrett Gomez.
“I was a longshot in the race, everybody didn’t think my filly had a shot, but she did and I’m very happy with her,” Prado said.
Bayou’s Lassie, under 118 pounds, paid $26.80, $8.20, and $4.20 while 124-pound top weight Dreaming of Anna returned $3.60 and $2.60. Ventura brought $3. Sharp Susan took fourth, followed by New Edition, Danzon, Lady Carlock and V.I.P. Princess. You Go West Girl scratched.
Bred in Florida by owner Fred Brei’s Jacks or Better Farm out of the Bayou Herbert mare Bayou Plans, Bayou’s Lassie now holds a 9-3-0 record from 16 starts, with earnings of $647,245. The winner's share was $101,671.