Lode Filly Wins Argentina's Copa de Plata

By Michael Burns
Led by her experience, maturity and a well timed ride by jockey Juan Noriega, Haras Vacacion's Decencia scored the most valuable triumph of her career in the $56,000 Gran Premio Internacional Copa de Plata (Arg-1) Sunday at San Isidro racetrack in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The daughter of Lode, a North American son of Mr. Prospector, had little trouble in defeating and putting away her entry-mate Terna down the stretch to win by a length and a half and score her biggest triumph in Argentina's most important race of the calendar for fillies and mares on the turf. Missing from the race were two of Argentina's most accomplished 3-year-old fillies of 2001-- Guernika, who was left out the Copa de Plata in order to compete this coming Saturday in the Gran Premio Joaquin S. de Anchorena (Arg-1) against the males over a mile on the turf, and Netherland, recently purchased by trainer Bob Baffert through the advice of Brazilian-born and Southern California-based trainer A. C. Avila.

Racing in the colors of Stud Haras Vacacion--leading contender for owner of the year--Decencia overcame a few traffic problems early in the race to defeat a well-balanced field of 12.

Although known as a good gate horse, Decencia did not break sharply and was unable to secure a privileged position early on. Nevertheless, as the race unfolded, she began to gain on the leaders and turning for home found herself in the ideal spot to unveil her powerful stretch run. Tel Bor, who was the early leader, maintained her position until the last two furlongs before giving way to Terna, who looked like a winner before Decencia appeared with a strong rush in the final furlong to take command and score her most accomplish victory.

Decencia, trained by Argentina's leading trainer Juan C. Maldotti, completed the 1 1/4 miles in 1:58.09 over a firm course. Decencia, scored her fifth victory in 16 starts, elevating her career bankroll to near $100,000.