by Keeneland Press Release
October 7, 2018
Merriebelle Stable’s Blue Prize (ARG) overcame an adventurous run in the stretch to turn back Champagne Problems by three-quarters of a length to win the 63rd running of the $500,000 Juddmonte Spinster (G1) for fillies and mares before a Sunday afternoon crowd of 14,223.
Trained by Ignacio Correas IV and ridden by Joe Bravo, Blue Prize won her second Breeders’ Cup Challenge race that provides the winner a fees-paid berth into the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) to be run Nov. 3 at Churchill Downs. Previously she won the Fleur de Lis (G2) at Churchill Downs.
Also earning Breeders’ Cup berths Sunday were Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Robert LaPenta’s Current, winner of the $250,000 Dixiana Bourbon (G3) and John Oxley’s Strike Silver, winner of the inaugural $200,000 Indian Summer, both races for 2-year-olds.
In the Juddmonte Spinster, longshot Southernperfection led the field of 11 through fractions of :23.79, :47.62 and 1:12.27. On the far turn, Bravo moved to the far outside, circling the leaders and striking the front turning for home.
Blue Prize quickly opened a daylight advantage, but twice before the eighth pole ducked out sharply beyond the middle of the track, allowing Champagne Problems, who was skimming the rail, to reach near even terms. Bravo got Blue Prize straightened out inside the sixteenth pole and drew clear for the victory in 1:50.02.
A 5-year-old Argentine-bred daughter of Pure Prize out of the Not For Sale mare Blues for Sale (ARG), Blue Prize won her fourth graded stakes in North America and first Grade 1. A Group 1 winner in Argentina, Blue Prize elevated her career earnings to $964,753 with Sunday’s $300,000 check.
Blue Prize returned $11, $5 and $3.80. Champagne Problems, ridden by Calvin Borel, returned $7.80 and $5.20 and finished 1½ lengths in front of Pacific Wind who, paid $5.20 to show under Luis Saez.
It was another 3¼ lengths back to Fuhriously Kissed who was followed in order by Chocolate Martini, Talk Veuve to Me, favored Eskimo Kisses, Skeptic, Southernperfection, Tiger Moth and Sassy Sienna.