Try Your Luck crossed the finish line first in the $100,000 Pucker Up Stakes (gr. IIIT), but after a stewards' inquiry close runner-up Noble Beauty was elevated to the victory in the race for 3-year-old fillies Aug. 13 at Arlington International Racecourse.
Video: Pucker Up S. (G3T)
In a three-horse photo finish, Try Your Luck, ridden by Corey Lanerie, nosed out Noble Beauty and Florent Geroux, with Auntie Joy and Brian Hernandez just a head back in third. Ultimately, Try Your Luck lost in the stewards' room, where it was determined she interfered with Auntie Joy in midstretch while drifting out several paths. Auntie Joy was elevated to second, and Try Your Luck was demoted to third.
Final time for 1 1/8 miles on firm turf was 1:50.09 on firm turf.
Moms Choice set the early tempo before Try Your Luck gained a slim lead in upper stretch after tracking from third. Geroux brought Noble Beauty from near the back of the field, angling her six wide into the stretch, but she had to go several paths wider to avoid the drifting opponents before getting to within a nose of Try Your Luck at the wire.
Noble Beauty, a daughter of leading turf sire Kitten's Joy trained by Chad Brown, paid $7.20, $3.80, and $2.60 in posting her first stakes victory and second win from five starts this year while Geroux got his fifth victory on the card and fourth graded stakes win—teaming with Brown for three of those graded stakes scores. The filly came into Saturday's race with two stakes placings, both runner-up finishes, in the Regret Stakes (gr. IIIT) in June at Churchill Downs after the Honey Ryder Stakes in May at Gulfstream Park.
Auntie Joy returned $3.20 and $2.60, and Try Your Luck paid $3.60.
Great Point Stables' Noble Beauty was bred in Kentucky by Ken and Sarah Ramsey from the unraced Mineshaft mare Money Huntress. She was offered by agent Eddie Woods at last year's Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. spring sale of 2-year-olds in training but failed to reach her reserve price on a final bid of $95,000.
Nawlins Kittywas fourth, followed by Miss Gossip, Galilea, Bonita Cat, Moms Choice, Inconclusive, Fitpitcher, Princess Erindelle, and Nobody's Fault to compelte the order of finish. Felt Pocket and Havana Dream were scratched.