Saturday, February 13, 2010 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . February 13, 2010 . . . Armed with a good read on his filly and the field, jockey John McKee brought Lady's Laughter home for her first stakes win, taking the $50,000 Likely Exchange Stakes Saturday at Turfway Park by half a length over Rinterval. Final time for the Polytrack mile was 1:38.39
Lady's Laughter raced in third through five furlongs but was as much as six lengths off the pace set by Unspoken Word, who dropped out of contention near the quarter-pole after being pushed along from the start by Rinterval. McKee let his filly go entering the final turn, and despite an erratic trip in the stretch Lady's Laughter wore down the stubborn Rinterval a couple of strides before the wire. Danzon, the 8-5 favorite, closed to finish third, another length and a half back.
Unspoken Word set the pace at :23.69 for the quarter and :47.06 for the half, while Rinterval set the six-furlong mark of 1:12.20.
Despite the distance to make up, McKee had confidence in his plan for Lady’s Laughter, who previously, as trainer Charles Lopresti described, "has taken off running and burned herself up."
"I knew Mike Maker had the speed in the race [Unspoken Word] and I told Charlie, 'All I want is someone to go with her, and that way I can lay third, take my horse back, get her off the bit, and that way she could finish.' I had her content and off the bit, and I was comfortable where I was. At the half mile pole I nudged her and I had some horse so I waited a little bit, and then she took me there the whole way. She got a little funny [in the stretch] so I just put my stick away, kept the bit in her mouth and kept her to task."
Fourth and following were Exotic Bloom, Fashionable Score, Unspoken Word, On a Roll, and Tempo Approved. Complicity, Holiday Chills, and Kentucky Peaches scratched.
The 3-1 third choice, Lady's Laughter paid $8.80, $4.60, and $2.80.
"She's a stakes winner now, and that's what we wanted," said Lopresti. "She's been graded stakes-placed and stakes-placed; she's been a bit unlucky. She's out of a Pleasant Tap mare [Lady Tap], so we wanted to get a stakes win in her early in the year and then try her on the grass at Keeneland."
Lopresti trains Lady's Laughter, a daughter of Distorted Humor, for the Robert B. and Beverly J. Lewis Trust. She was bred in Kentucky by Paul Gardner. The Likely Exchange win pushed her career earnings to $142,874 and her record to four wins, one second, and one third in 12 starts.
Live racing continues Sunday and Monday at Turfway, with first post at 1:10pm both days.