Favored Folklore took the lead, gave it up, and then reclaimed it en route to a win in the $1.06 million Alberto VO5 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) Saturday at Belmont Park.
In the process, the Robert and Beverly Lewis homebred gave trainer D. Wayne Lukas his 18th victory in a Breeders' Cup race, by far the most of any conditioner. It was Lukas' fifth win in the Juvenile Fillies. Lukas was starting his 143rd and 144th Breeders' Cup starters, also sending out Ex Caelis.
"We've been blessed with some good ones, and we've also been blessed with people that support us," said Lukas. "Bob and Beverly Lewis have been so great to us."
Edgar Prado took Folklore, breaking from the rail, to the lead out of the gate and she stayed there for the first quarter-mile in :22.65. When Knights Templar and Gary Stevens wanted the lead, Prado let them have it while he moved toward the middle of the track.
Knights Templar, the Canadian-based filly, took them through a half in :45.34 and six furlongs in 1:10.39. Folklore was sitting just behind her and, as the field turned for home, Prado moved her back in front while Original Spin and Along the Sea were sitting third and fourth.
Wild Fit, who was last by a long ways early, was well out in the middle of the track. After Folklore opened up, Alex Solis got Wild Fit in full gear and she made a big run to get second, 1 1/4 lengths behind the winner. Original Spin, who went off the second choice, got third and another 4 3/4 lengths back, while Ex Caelis was fourth.
"She broke running out of the gate very fast," Prado said. "She did it all by herself, very sharp. She took a little breather at the half-mile pole, and I was very comfortable with everything."
Everyone said the fields were very competitive and, in the Juvenile Fillies, the longest price in the 10-horse field was 21-1.
Folklore ended a losing streak in the Breeders' Cup for Prado, who had failed to win with his previous 41 mounts. It was the second time Prado had ridden Folklore, the jockey aboard her in her last start, a 14-length win in the Matron (gr. I) Sept. 17.
"It means a lot. I give thanks to my family and friends in Maryland and New York," Prado said of breaking his Breeders' Cup maiden. "Thanks to them, I am what I am. It feels super. It took me a long time but I finally got it done."
Folklore, by Tiznow
out of the Storm Cat
mare Contrive, was bred in Kentucky by the Lewises. An ailing Bob Lewis was unable to travel to New York for the Breeders' Cup.
Folklore won for the fourth time in seven starts and earned $551,200. She has banked $927,500 in her brief career.
It was the first win for the Lewises as breeders but as owners it was their third victory, having won the Sprint with Orientate in 2002 and a partner in the ownership of Timber Country, who won the Juvenile in 1994.
Folklore paid $6.70, $4.20, and $2.70 while Wild Fit returned $6.40 and $4.30. Original Spin was worth $3.70 to show.
Solis said he was comfortable with Wild Fit falling far back early.
"When we came on the turn, I had a little bit of traffic trouble, and it slowed us down some," he said. "But she came running and, for a minute there, I thought I was going to catch the winner."
"She ran awesome," her trainer Jeff Mullins said. "She got steadied a little at the five-sixteenth pole. If she hadn't steadied, she might have got there. They were going fast on the lead. We probably would liked to have had her closer, but that's horseracing."
Following Ex Caelis was followed by Sensation, Knights Templar, Adieu, Along the Sea, She Says It Best and Diamond Omi.