Lead Story, some 14 lengths behind while trailing the field after a half mile, rallied smartly with Calvin Borel in the saddle to post a 35-1 upset in the $225,400 Churchill Downs Distaff (gr. II) Saturday.
The chestnut 4-year-old Editor's Note filly registered her first graded stakes victory for trainer Carl Nafzger by a half-length over Awesome Humor, the 7-2 second choice in the field of 10 ridden by Larry Melancon. It was 2 1/4 lengths back to Born to Dance in third. The final time was 1:36 2/5 for the one-turn mile.
Nafzger pulled a 23-1 upset when he saddled Softly to win the 2002 running of the Distaff
Yell, sent off at 4-5 Saturday, was sixth after rallying mildy on the turn while wide for Pat Day.
Borel allowed Lead Story to lay off the early running, taking her to the inside as the 21-1 Born to Dance established the pace, going :23 and :45 4/5. Meteor Miracle, up close for John McKee, edged to the front after six furlongs in 1:11 as Yell, wide on the turn, and Lead Story, on the inside, began to rally. Leaving the eighth pole, Borel angled Lead Story out aggressively to be four wide and closed strongly with left-handed urging while overtaking Awesome Humor.
"I had a perfect trip," said Borel, who captured his third Churchill
Downs Distaff. "I was last and got through on the fence all the way until it was time to go, then I wheeled around and saw two horses were on the lead. When I got to Larry (Melancon aboard Awesome Humor), I knew I had him because my filly, she don't stop."
Awesome Humor took the lead at the head of the stretch after chasing Born to Dance and Meteor Miracle while off the rail.
Lead Story picked up $139,748 for owner A. Steven Miles Jr. with her sixth career win in 28 outings. The Kentucky bred was a $45,000 Keeneland purchase in September 2000. She has now earned $399,087.
The Cabotaba Partnership bred Lead Story, who was produced by the Seattle Dancer mare Gwenjinsky.
The winner paid $73.60, $25 and $16.40. Awesome Humor returned $5.60 and $4.40. Born to Dance, ridden by Rafael Bejarano, showed for 10.40. The $2 exacta was worth $394.
My Trusty Cat was fourth, followed by Rhiana, Yell, Meteor Miracle, Mayo On the Side, Salzurita and Lakenheath.