Lapuma wins Dowager at Keeneland.

Lapuma wins Dowager at Keeneland.

Bill Straus

Lapuma Upsets Volga in Dowager Stakes

(From track report)
Distance loving Lapuma upset heavily favored Volga Sunday at Keeneland to win the $112,200 Dowager Stakes for fillies and mares on the turf.

Ridden by veteran Larry Melancon, the 5-year-old daughter of Lord At War moved into contention on the final turn, caught San Dare approaching the eighth pole and won by a half length.

"I think she really likes it here," said Melancon, who finished second aboard Lapuma in Keeneland's Bewitch Stakes (gr. IIIT) last spring. "She gives you all that she can. I had a handful of horse all the way around there."

San Dare with jockey Willie Martinez aboard tried to fight back but had to settle for second, a head in front of 2-5 favorite Volga. It was 1 ¼ lengths back to fourth-place Sunscreen in the field of nine.

Lapuma ran 1½ miles on the yielding turf in 2:35.17 and earned $69,564 for owner Jeffry Morris. She improved her career record to 22-5-2-4 and increased her career earnings to $269,869.

Alton Quanbeck, who trains the winner, has no thoughts of the Breeders' Cup to be run in two weeks at Arlington Park. "There are a lot of mile and a half races in New York we'll look at."

Lapuma, the 5-1 second choice, paid $12.80, $6.20 and $2.40. San Dare, winner of the Kentucky Cup Ladies Turf in her last start, returned $6.60 and $2.60 and Volga, ridden by Pat Day, paid $2.10.

Day, who was celebrating his 49th birthday, said Volga "really had no excuse."

"She started to pick it up nicely turning for home, she had nothing but racetrack in front of her in the stretch and just didn't get it done."

(Chart, Equibase)