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Wasted Tears holds off Forever Together in Jenny Wiley

Wasted Tears led throughout to earn her fifth straight win (Wendy Uzelac/EquiSport Photos)
WASTED TEARS (Najran) fought off the late bid of defending champion Forever Together (Belong to Me) by a half-length in Saturday's $200,000 Jenny Wiley S. (G2), extending her winning streak to five in a row. Bred, owned, and trained by Bart Evans, the 9-2 chance led at every call for new pilot Rajiv Maragh and blazed 1 1/16 miles in 1:40 4/5 on Keeneland's firm turf. Her final time was just one tick off the stakes mark of 1:40 3/5 set by Apolda in 1996.

A confirmed front runner, Wasted Tears shaped up as the controlling speed in the Jenny Wiley, and the talented dark bay made the most of her opportunity. As Wasted Tears showed the way through splits of :23 3/5, :47 3/5 and 1:11 1/5, she was stalked by Carribean Sunset (Ire) (Danehill Dancer), with Quiet Harbor (Silver Deputy) a little farther back in third. Forever Together, the 9-5 favorite, lay closer than usual in her seasonal reappearance, taking up the fourth spot until Salve Germania (Ire) (Peintre Celebre) made an early move to join her.

Wasted Tears gave her rivals the slip entering the stretch and enjoyed a 1 1/2-length lead at the eighth-pole. Meanwhile, Forever Together was just beginning to bear down. The big gray mare took some time to build up momentum, but once she got in gear, she loomed boldly. For a few strides, Forever Together threatened to sweep past the leader. Wasted Tears, however, refused to yield. Finding a bit more, she pulled away from Forever Together to register the mild upset.

"My filly always felt like she was going to give me a good response," Maragh said. "She cruised on the lead early and that made her have a lot left at the end.

"He (owner/trainer Bart Evans) told me to just get along with her. She's very talented, and (he told me) as long as I get along with her and make her feel like she is doing it on her own, she would give me a good kick and she sure did."

Trainer Jonathan Sheppard was not downcast by Forever Together's narrow loss.

"I was very pleased with the race," Sheppard said. "I knew that horse (Wasted Tears) was the lone speed, and if she was able to slow it down, which she did, she'd have enough left to hold us off. I thought she (Forever Together) ran very well and tried hard. It was a good effort."

Wasted Tears returned $11.60, $5.40 and $3.80 while starting the $41.40 exacta, $229.40 trifecta and $523.40 superfecta (3-2-7-5). Forever Together gave back $3.40 and $2.60 for finishing one length in front of Hot Cha Cha (Cactus Ridge). Third paid $4 at 7-1. Carribean Sunset, the 3-1 second choice, faded to fourth, followed by Salve Germania, Treat Gently (GB) (Cape Cross [Ire]) and Quiet Harbor. Stardom Bound (Tapit) was scratched in favor of Sunday's 8TH race.

With this biggest career victory added to her resume, Wasted Tears improved her line to 14-9-1-0, $436,598. She flashed ability on the Retama Park turf as a juvenile, capturing her debut and finishing a troubled runner-up in the 2007 La Senorita S., but really excelled with maturity. The Kentucky-bred kicked off her winning streak in her 2009 bow in an allowance at Lone Star Park. Next time out at the same venue, she wired the Ouija Board Distaff H. (G3) in a course-record 1:32.81 for the mile. Sidelined until January 28, the five-year-old picked up right where she left off with an allowance/optional claiming score at Gulfstream Park. That served as the ideal prep for the February 20 Honey Fox S. (G3), which she captured in her trademark fashion last time out.

"We had her at Palm Meadows and kept her down there all winter," Evans said. "She ran twice after coming back from an eight-month layoff and she is coming back from about a two-month layoff. We got her ready for this (race). She's always run over a firm turf course and I wanted to see if she could run over other turf courses. This (Keeneland) isn't the easiest course in the world to stay on the front end at a mile and sixteenth."

Produced by the stakes-winning Wishes and Roses (Greinton [GB]), Wasted Tears is a half-sister to stakes victors Wishingitwas (Sandpit [Brz]) and Almost Certain (Favorite Trick), as well as a juvenile colt named If Ever (Thunder Gulch). Wasted Tears' fifth dam is the noted matron The Garden Club (*Herbager).


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