Midway Road Overcomes 'Impact in Fayette

(from Keeneland report)
Midway Road stuck his nose in front at the finish to score a narrow victory in the $161,250 Fayette Stakes (gr. III) Saturday as Keeneland concluded its 17-day fall meeting.

Midway Road, ridden by Calvin Borel, took the lead at the start of the 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds and upward but Total Impact, the winner of the Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) this year, moved up to join him passing the quarter pole.

The two raced as a team down the Keeneland stretch with Midway Road on the inside and Total Impact and veteran Craig Perret, seeking a third straight win in the race, on the outside.

With the nod of a head Midway Road reached the finish first in 1:50.39 on the fast track. The 4-year-old son of Jade Hunter added the Fayette to a previous win this year at Keeneland in the Ben Ali Stakes (gr. III) on April 22.

"We had a great trip and he really dug in at the end," said Borel.

Alumni Hall, a stablemate of the winner, was six lengths back in third followed by Sonic West and Quest in the field reduced to five starters when Grey Beard was scratched.

Midway Road earned $99,975 for the former ambassador to England, William Farish. He remained undefeated in four starts at Keeneland, improved his career record to 16-6-2-2 and increased his lifetime earnings to $659,060.

The winner, who is trained by Neil Howard, paid $5, $2.80 and $2.20 as the 3-2 second choice.

"He really loves Keeneland. He's got the right style for this track," said Howard.

Total Impact, carrying top weight of 125 pounds, returned $2.40 and $2.20 as the 13-10 favorite. "My horse (Total Impact) is a horse that just loves to battle," said Perret. "I don't think it would make a difference who he was racing against. He just loves to compete."

Alumni Hall, ridden by Larry Melancon, paid $2.40.

Rafael Bejarano, the young Peruvian who has won more races in North American this year than any other jockey, won 26 races, including six stakes, to finish atop the Keeneland jockey standings for the first time. Veteran Pat Day and apprentice Brian Hernandez, Jr. tied for second with 20 wins apiece.

Steven M. Asmussen, the country's leading trainer in terms of wins, and Nick Zito each sent out 11 winners to tie for leading trainer honors. Carl Nafzger was third with seven wins.

G. Watts Humphrey Jr. and partners were the leading owner with seven victories.

(Chart, Equibase)