Saturday, March 21, 2009 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . March 21, 2009 . . . Just for Keeps, the 2-1 favorite, went wire-to-wire to take the $50,000 Queen Stakes by three-quarters of a length over Proud Heiress. Mrs Petoski was two lengths back in third.
Ridden by Julian Leparoux, Just for Keeps went straight to the lead and never looked back. The 5-year-old daughter of Broken Vow came into the Queen off a similar wire-to-wire score in a Feb. 1 classified allowance race at Gulfstream for Turfway Park's leading trainer Michael Maker and owners Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey. Today's win was the second career stakes victory for Just for Keeps, who captured the Mamzelle Stakes last May over the Churchill Downs turf course.
"She won easy," said Leparoux. "She was trying to get out at the sixteenth pole. I'm not sure why. I think she was just goofing around, but it was nothing bad. I had the best post, I had the outside, I had speed—all that made it easier."
"Her best asset is her speed and we let her use it today," said Maker, who also won the prior race at Turfway and has Jack Spratt in the Lane's End Stakes still to come. "She has a habit of ducking in, and it may have cost her a race or two, but fortunately we didn't have to worry about that today. Two down and one more to go."
Just for Keeps paid $6.60, $4.00, and $3.00. Final time for the six furlongs for fillies and mares was 1:10.41.
The order of finish in the Queen: Just for Keeps, Proud Heiress, Mrs Petoski, Natalicat, Hadavision, Kristabella, J Z Warrior, Tosca's Kiss, Victorianna and Mostbeautifulstorm.