Lukas' Stellar Jayne Pulls Away in Dogwood

(from Churchill Downs report)
Stellar Jayne, ridden by Robby Albarado, took the lead in the upper stretch and cruised to a 3 1/4-length win over Dynaville in Saturday's co-featured $161,400 Dogwood Breeders' Cup (gr. III) for 3-year-old fillies at Churchill Downs.

The victory snapped a seven-race losing streak for Stellar Jayne, who had not won since last November in the Pocahontas Stakes at Churchill Downs. The daughter of Wild Rush, trained by D. Wayne Lukas, covered the 1 1/16 miles over a "fast" track in 1:43.14 and paid $6.80, $3.60 and $2.10.

Dynaville, with Craig Perret up, closed late to take the place spot, paying $5.40 and $2.20. Ender's Sister, the 4-5 favorite with Calvin Borel aboard, tired after setting the early pace and finished 1 3/4-lengths back in third and paid $2.10.

Owned by Spendthrift Farm, LLC, Chuck Kidder, Nancy Cole and Nick Strong, Stellar Jayne pocketed $100,068 to increase her lifetime earnings to $266,551. The victory was her fourth in 12 lifetime starts and first in seven tries in 2004.

"This was a really good race for her to get under her belt," said Lukas. "Not only is it a nice race, but it'll move her forward. We can build off of this one."

Lukas notched his 66th career stakes win. He's tied with Bill Mott for the all-time lead in stakes victories at Churchill.

Ender's Sister jumped to the early lead while Stellar Jayne stalked in second through fractions of :24.69 for the quarter-mile and :48.61 for the half. As the field moved around the far turn, Stellar Jayne surged toward the leader and assumed command in upper stretch as Ender's Sister retreated and Dynaville ranged up to take second.

"In midstretch she hit another gear," said Albarado. "She was waiting for other horses a tad, and Wayne said that she can take some riding. She loves for you to be aggressive on her and I was. She finishes up strong."

The Dogwood Breeders' Cup was originally scheduled for June 30, but was rescheduled after severe weather prompted Churchill Downs to cancel the final six races on that program.

(Chart, Equibase)