FLORENCE, Ky., Sept. 24, 2011 – La Gran Bailadora roared from last to first in the Distorted Humor Kentucky Cup Distaff (G3) at Turfway Park Saturday, flying home late to defeat Bella Medaglia by a length. Kiss Mine was third, eight lengths behind Bella Medaglia.
Final time for the 1 1/16-mile race for fillies and mares was 1:44.90.
High Quality set the first quarter in :24.48 before Persuading took over to set the half-mile mark in :48.43 and the six-furlong mark in 1:12.73. Bella Medaglia was close to the leaders through the early going and the race appeared to be hers for the taking after she gained the lead from Persuading coming into the stretch. La Gran Bailadora had been last of seven after six furlongs, and while she poured in on coming around the final turn to be second at the top of the stretch, she was still five lengths behind Bella Medaglia at that point. But the 4-year-old filly kept coming and edged away from the eventual runner-up late in the stretch.
The win was the fifth on the day for trainer Mike Maker, a Turfway Park record for most wins in a single day.
"You always go in with confidence when you ride for Mike," said winning rider Corey Lanerie. "I was last early, and then just kind of got her out on the turn and she was best today. Once we got to the 3/8ths pole, I knew I had them. When I got to the filly on the lead I was a little concerned because she put up a fight, but my horse got by her and pulled away."
Kiss Mine was followed by Persuading, High Quality, Ailalea, and the even-money favorite Upperline, who was described by jockey Joe Talamo as simply outrun.
La Gran Bailadora was the bettors' second choice at 4-1 and paid $10.40, $5.20, and $3.20.
Owned and bred by Tracy Farmer, La Gran Bailadora is by Afleet Alex out of the Affirmed mare Affirmed Dancer. She came in to the Distorted Humor Kentucky Cup Distaff with three wins, a second, and third in five starts at Turfway, and Maker plans to keep her on Polytrack. Her next start may be the Grade 1 Spinster Stakes at Keeneland.