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Mushka takes Spinster via disqualification

Proviso (inside) was disqualified from the Spinster win after ducking over on Mushka (outside) (EquiSport Photos)

Brushwood Stable's MUSHKA (Empire Maker) crossed under the line 1 1/4 lengths adrift of Proviso (GB) (Dansili [GB]) in Sunday's $500,000 Spinster S. (G1) at Keeneland, but was promoted to first when that one was disqualified and placed second. Sent off the 5-1 fourth pick, the Bill Mott trainee paid $12.40, $6 and $5.80 while keying the $63.40 exacta, $773.40 trifecta and $12,093.80 superfecta (11-4-1-3).

Both Mushka and Proviso were settled in rear of the field as Be Fair (Exchange Rate) grabbed the lead, setting splits of :23 4/5, :46 4/5 and 1:11. Closely tracking the pacesetter were Champagne Eyes (Flatter), Indescribable (Pleasant Tap) and Ginger Brew (Milwaukee Brew). Proviso got the jump on Mushka, going three wide around the turn and splitting horses to hit the front through a mile in 1:36 1/5. Mushka wasn't far behind, running down the center of the track, when Proviso under Rajiv Maragh suddenly veered toward the grandstand and forced Kent Desormeaux to take up sharply on Mushka.

Proviso continued on, easily pulling clear to finish 1 1/8 miles on the Polytrack in 1:49, but the inquiry sign was immediately posted. After speaking with both jockeys and pondering the whole stretch incident, the stewards decided to disqualify Proviso to second for the interference.

As the near 7-2 second choice, Proviso awarded her disappointed backers with payouts of $4.80 and $4. Teamgeist (Arg) (Mutakddim) finished another 2 1/4 lengths behind Mushka and 1 1/4 lengths in front of fourth-placer Dawn After Dawn (Successful Appeal) to return $8.40 at 13-1. Ginger Brew, Tizfiz (Tiznow), Be Fair, Tejida (Rahy), Indescribable, 3-1 favorite Swift Temper (Giant's Causeway) and Champagne Eyes completed the order under the wire.

Mushka earned her second straight graded score in this spot, having taken the Glens Falls H. (G3) over Saratoga's turf. This was just her second try on a synthetic, as she also won an allowance over Keeneland's Polytrack in April. Also the victress of the 2007 Demoiselle S. (G2), the Kentucky-bred filly now boasts a 16-6-2-3 mark with $723,625 in lifetime earnings. She has placed in a trio of graded tests earlier this year -- the Suwannee River S. (G3), Sheepshead Bay S. (G2) and Dance Smartly S. (Can-G2).

Bred by Diane Snowden, Mushka was originally purchased for $1.6 million at the 2006 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Yearling sale. She went to her current connections for $2.4 million at the 2008 Keeneland November sale.

Mushka is the first foal from the stakes-winning Sluice (Seeking the Gold), who is also responsible for a weanling colt by Smart Strike. Sluice is herself a half-sister to current sophomore Flying Spur (Giant's Causeway), runner-up in the Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) and third in the Kentucky Oaks (G1). Mushka's second dam is four-time Grade 1 queen Lakeway (Seattle Slew), and she hails from the same family as undefeated Grade 1-winning sire Saratoga Six (Alydar) and champion Bold Forbes (Irish Castle), hero of the 1976 Kentucky Derby (G1) and Belmont S. (G1).


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