Lead Story made a huge move on the turn for home and went on to win the $327,000 Louisville Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II), leaving heavily favored Sightseek and the others in her wake.
Last early Under Calvin Borel, the 5-year-old chestnut mare ranged up in the turn on the outside and just cruised by the leaders. She had to withstand a rally by Yell, who had shown early speed and dropped back, to secure the victory. Cat Fighter came on for third. she won by nearly a length.
Owned by A. Steven Miles Jr. and trained by Carl Nafzger, the daughter of Editor's Note
was winning her eighth race in 32 lifetime starts. She loves Churchill Downs, having won the Fall City Handicap (gr. II) and Churchill Downs Distaff (gr. II), last fall. The Fall City, like Friday's race, was run on a sloppy track. She has won five of nine starts at Churchill. First money of $202,740 increased her total earnings to $842,031.
"I had her in hand all the time and it was just a question of getting through or going around," Borel said. "When I eased her out (at the head of the stretch), she just took me to Jerry's horse (Bailey on Sightseek), and the only thing I was worried about was something coming from behind.
Sightseek, the 2-5 favorite in the 1 1/16-mile event, faltered in the stretch to be fourth over the sloppy Churchill Downs main track. Bailey said the Bobby Frankel-trained mare never grabbed hold of the track.
"She stumbled jogging," he said. "She stumbled five times on me warming up. She just didn't handle the track. Not an inch. The only time if felt I had control of her was when I had a big hold. But the minute I let her loose, she started slipping and sliding."
Lead Story paid $22, $8.20 and $6.20 while Yell returned $7.20 and $5.40. Cat Fighter paid $5.20. After Sightseek came La Reason and Pocus Hocus.
The time was 1:44.37 after fractions of :24.38, :47.89, 1:12.77, and 1:37.96.
Lead Story was bred in Kentucky by Cabotaba Partnership.