In seventh place with a furlong remaining and seemingly out of contention, Indescribable made a furious run from the middle of the racetrack and caught Long Approach in the final stride to take the $113,400 Cardinal Handicap (gr. IIIT) (VIDEO) by a head on the Churchill Downs turf Nov. 15.
Indescribable, a 4-year-old daughter of Pleasant Tap, had six rivals in front of her a furlong out and was more than six lengths from the front. But while Long Approach and Kiss With a Twist were dueling for the lead in upper-stretch, the chestnut filly was gobbling up ground under Kent Desormeaux and moved within striking distance at the sixteenth pole. She finally collared hard-luck Long Approach in the last stride.
The final time for 1 1/8 miles on the ‘yielding’ turf was 1:55.77. Long Approach, ridden by Julien Leparoux, was a half-length in front of third-place finisher Twist With a Kiss, who had the lead under Miguel Mena at the top of the lane. Callwood Dancer was fourth.
Trained by Bill Mott, Indescribable entered the Cardinal with one win in six starts this year, that coming in the Arlington Matron Handicap (gr. III) on the Polytrack May 26. Her last two efforts were in grade I company on the dirt, as she finished third in the Go for Wand and fourth in the Personal Ensign, both at Saratoga.
Indescribable had never come from that far back in any of her other four career wins, although she did rally from off the pace in her lone turf victory last year at Hollywood Park.
“We felt like she would be tough today, but the only question we had was whether she could handle the yielding turf. It looks like she handled it fine," Mott said.
Callwood Dancer, sent off as the 2-1 betting choice after consecutive runner-up finishes in graded stakes at Woodbine, set a leisurely pace in the Cardinal, loping along in fractions of :25.14, :51.78, and 1:17.97 for six furlongs. She was pressed the whole way by Kiss With a Twist, who came to tackle the leader coming out of the far turn.
Kiss With a Twist assumed a half-length lead at the top of the stretch, but Long Approach, who was never far back, took command in upper stretch. Those two slugged it out for most of the final furlong before Indescribable made her huge late move.
"At the three-sixteenths pole, I thought I had no chance. But, as they say in Europe, ‘when she presented herself’ and got clear, she really leveled out and took off," Desormeaux said. "She did not have any trouble with the ground at all. She never had that one stumble or bobble. In the last 40 yards, I was pretty confident that we were going to win.”
Indescribable is a Kentucky homebred of Donald Adam’s Courtlandt Farm. Out of the Flying Paster mare Catnip, she is now 5-1-4 from 16 starts with earnings of $332,595.
Sent off as the fourth choice, Indescribable paid $15.40, $8.40, and $5.40. The exacta (10-3) returned $199, while the trifecta (10-3-9) was worth $2322.60.