Madcap Escapade takes Vinery Madison on a rain-soaked afternoon at Keeneland.

Madcap Escapade takes Vinery Madison on a rain-soaked afternoon at Keeneland.

Anne M. Eberhardt

Madcap Escapade Splashes Home in Vinery Madison

Bruce Lunsford's heavily favored Madcap Escapade stalked the early pace of the seven-furlong Vinery Madison Stakes (gr. III) at Keeneland Race Course before sweeping around the turn to grab Wednesday's $200,000 feature. Jerry Bailey was aboard for a muddy trip in 1:23.33 after quick early fractions of :21.59 and :43.75.

"I always maintained that she has a high cruising speed, but that's an understatement," said Bailey who notched his 50th career stakes win at the Lexington track. "She has brilliant speed."

Unchallenged down the stretch, the 4-year-old daughter of Hennessy found the better part of the sloppy track on the rail and there was no catching her as she cruised to an easy victory by 4 3/4 lengths. My Trusty Cat, with John Velazquez aboard, and Molto Vita, with Rafael Bejarano up, were second and third, respectively.

Trained by Frank Brothers, the 4-year-old bay filly was bred in Kentucky by Needham/Betz Thoroughbreds and James Blackburn. The Vinery Madison winner is out of the Saratoga Six mare Sassy Pants. Brothers, as agent, purchased Madcap Escapade for $160,000 at the 2002 Keeneland September yearling sale from Needham/Betz and Hanley, as agents. She had earned Lunsford $850,400 after capturing the $124,000 winner's share Wednesday.

Revolutionary Act and Molto Vita broke well and kept the lead for the opening quarter before Madcap Escapade got up to challenge. After that, there wasn't much anyone could do.

"She's been special since day one, she just has brilliant speed," said Brothers of his filly who heads next to the grade I Humana Distaff on the Kentucky Derby Day undercard. "She likes to run the turns and when she opened up around the turn I felt pretty good."

Madcap Escapade earned her backers $2.80, $2.60, and $2.20. My Trusty Cat (Tale of the Cat ) paid $4.80 and $3.60 to place and show, and Molto Vita (Carson City) hit the board to show at $4.

A $2 (7-3) exacta paid $18, the $2 quinella (3-7) $15.20, and the (7-3-5) trifecta $96.20. Souris (Defrere) edged in to round out the superfecta (7-3-5-1) which paid an even $248.00 for a $2 wager.

The $2 Pick-3 of 10-6-7 was worth $241.20.

(Chart, Equibase)