Blanc Drives J'ray to Jessamine Surprise

Fifth at the top of the stretch, J'ray charged between the leaders inside the sixteenth pole to post an upset in the $112,000 Jessamine Stakes for 2-year-old fillies on the Keeneland turf Thursday.

The Todd Pletcher-trained daughter of Distant View finished three-quarters of a length in front of Beau Dare, the 2-1 favorite who established a nine-length lead while racing extremely wide under John McKee. It was a length back to Dyna's Destiny.

J'ray ran 1 1/16 miles on the "good" turf in 1:45.57 and paid $24.80, $8.40 and $6.60. Owned and bred by Lawrence Goichman, she improved her record to 3-2-0-0 and increased her career earnings to $97,245.

"She got a little roughed up on the turn but when I asked her she gave me a great run," said winning jockey Brice Blanc.

Beau Dare, winner of the Kentucky Cup Juvenile Fillies in her last start, returned $3.80 and $3. Dyna's Destiny paid $4.40 to show. It was 3 ¾ lengths back to fourth-place Perilous Pursuit in the field of eight juvenile fillies.

The 5,000th career victory continued to elude jockey Gary Stevens, who finished fifth aboard Ready to Talk. Stevens will miss the final two days of the Keeneland meeting to ride at Belmont Park, site of Saturday's Breeders' Cup.

(Chart, Equibase)