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STRETCH CALL

Race No. 5 -- The Century Dream Distaff (1 1/8M)
By Paul Buckley

Listen to the race call by track announcer Mike Battaglia!

Fourteen of the grandest fillies and mares to have graced the Sport Of Kings in the 20th century parade onto the Churchill Downs oval, and the overflow crowd grows eerily quiet as track announcer Mike Battaglia delivers roll call. Here's the royal field in post position order:

PP   HORSE   YEAR   AGE   WT   JOCKEY   TRAINER
                         
1   DESERT VIXEN   1973   3   120   J. VELASQUEZ   T. ROOT
2   INSIDE INFORMATION   1995   4   123   M. SMITH   C. McGAUGHEY
3   PERSONAL ENSIGN   1988   4   123   R. ROMERO   C. McGAUGHEY
4   GO FOR WAND   1990   3   120   G. STEVENS   W. BADGET JR.
5   LADY'S SECRET   1986   4   123   P. DAY   D. W. LUKAS
6   BAYAKOA   1989   5   123   L. PINCAY   R. McANALLY
7   RUFFIAN   1975   3   120   J. VASQUEZ   F. WHITELEY JR.
8   GALLORETTE   1946   4   123   J. JESSOP   E. CHRISTMAS
9   REGRET   1915   3   120   J. NOTTER   J. ROWE SR.
10   TWILIGHT TEAR   1944   3   120   C. McCREARY   B. JONES
11   PRINCESS ROONEY   1984   4   123   E. DELAHOUSSAYE   N. DRYSDALE
12   BUSHER   1945   3   120   J. LONGDEN   G. ODOM
13   SUSAN'S GIRL   1972   3   120   V. TEJADA   J. RUSSELL
14   GENUINE RISK   1980   3   120   C. McCARRON   L. JOLLEY

Following are race records (year chosen and lifetime) for each horse, as well as notable accomplishments and other tidbits:

1 - DESERT VIXEN
- Champion Three-Year-Old Filly in 1973
- Champion Handicap Female in 1974
- Won 1973 Beldame S. (G1), defeating that year's Champion Handicap Mare Susan's Girl and equalling Belmont Park's track record of 1:46 1/5 for 1 1/8 miles
- Won 1973 Post-Deb S. (G3), equalling Monmouth Park's track record of 1:40 1/5 for 1 mile and 70 yards
1973 Race Record:   11-9-2-0, $256,147
Lifetime Record:   28-13-6-3, $421,538
     
2 - INSIDE INFORMATION
- Champion Older Mare in 1995
- Won 1995 Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1) at Belmont Park by 13 1/2 lengths in a time of 1:46
1995 Race Record:   8-7-1-0, $1,160,408
Lifetime Record:   17-14-1-2, $1,641,805
     
3 - PERSONAL ENSIGN
- Champion Older Mare in 1988
- Won 1988 Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1) at Churchill Downs, defeating Kentucky Derby winner Winning Colors by a nose
- Retired undefeated and sound
- Romero chooses Personal Ensign over Go For Wand
1988 Race Record:   7-7-0-0, $1,202,640
Lifetime Record:   13-13-0-0, $1,679,880
     
4 - GO FOR WAND
- Champion Two-Year-Old Filly in 1989
- Champion Three-Year-Old Filly in 1990
- Won 1989 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) at Gulfstream Park
- Won six Grade 1 races in 1990
- Finished second in the 1990 Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs
- Stevens subs for Romero (who opts for Personal Ensign)
1990 Race Record:   9-7-1-0, $824,948
Lifetime Record:   13-10-2-0, $1,373,338
     
5 - LADY'S SECRET
- Champion Older Mare and Horse Of The Year in 1986
- Won 1986 Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1) at Santa Anita
- Won 1986 Whitney H. (G1) at Saratoga, defeating Ends Well, Skip Trial, King's Swan and Cutlass Reality
- Won eight Grade 1 races in 1986
- Won 1985 Maskette S. (G1) in 1:33 2/5, a record for the mile at Belmont Park by a filly or mare
- Finished second to Precisionist in the 1986 Woodward S. (G1) at Belmont
- Finished second to stablemate Life's Magic in the 1985 Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1) at Aqueduct
- Weighed only 900 pounds while racing
1986 Race Record:   15-10-3-2, $1,871,053
Lifetime Record:   45-25-9-3, $3,021,425
     
6 - BAYAKOA
- Champion Older Mare in 1989 and 1990
- Won 1989 Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1) at Gulfstream Park
- Won seven Grade 1 races in 1989
- Won 1990 Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1) at Belmont Park
1989 Race Record:   11-9-1-0, $1,406,403
Lifetime Record:   31-18-6-0, $2,785,259
     
7 - RUFFIAN
- Champion Two-Year-Old Filly
- Champion Two-Year-Old Filly
- Won career debut by 15 lengths, equalling Belmont Park's 5 1/2-furlong record of 1:03
- Won other four starts as a two-year-old by a combined 30 lengths
- Won Filly Triple Crown as a three-year-old
- Only career defeat came in match race vs. Foolish Pleasure
- Vasquez chooses Ruffian over Genuine Risk
1975 Race Record:   6-5-0-0, $179,356
Lifetime Record:   11-10-0-0, $313,429
     
8 - GALLORETTE
- Champion Handicap Mare in 1946
- Won 1946 Brooklyn H. at Aqueduct, defeating Stymie (Champion Handicap Horse in 1945)
- Won 1946 Metropolitan H. at Belmont Park
- Won 1946 Bay Shore H. at Aqueduct
- Finished second to Stymie in the 1946 Edgemere H. at Aqueduct
- Won 1947 Queens County H. at Aqueduct, defeating Stymie
- Won Whitney S. at Saratoga in 1948
- Won Carter H. at Aqueduct in 1948
1946 Race Record:   18-6-5-2, $159,160
Lifetime Record:   72-21-20-13, $445,535
     
9 - REGRET
- Won 1915 Kentucky Derby in gate-to-wire fashion, in her 1st start as a three-year-old
- Finished second by a nose to entrymate Borrow in the 1917 Brooklyn H. at Belmont Park, defeating Old Rosebud, Roamer, Omar Khayyam, Ormesdale and Chiclet
- Set a new track record of 1:24 1/5 for 7 furlongs at Aqueduct in her final career start
1915 Race Record:   2-2-0-0, $12,500
Lifetime Record:   11-9-1-0, $34,093
     
10 - TWILIGHT TEAR
- Champion Two-Year-Old Filly in 1943
- Champion Three-Year-Old Filly, Handicap Mare and Horse Of The Year in 1944 (first filly to be named Horse Of The Year)
- Won 1944 Classic S. at Washington Park, defeating Pensive (winner of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness S. in 1944)
- Won 1944 Pimlico Special by 6 lengths, defeating Devil Diver (Champion Handicap Horse in 1943 and 1944)
- Won 1944 Rennert H. at Pimlico, defeating Armed (Champion Handicap Horse in 1946 and 1947, and Horse Of The Year in 1947)
- Set a new track record of 1:22 3/5 for seven furlongs in the 1944 Skokie H. at Washington Park
1944 Race Record:   17-14-1-1, $167,555
Lifetime Record:   24-18-2-2, $202,165
     
11 - PRINCESS ROONEY
- Champion Older Mare in 1984
- Won 1984 Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1) at Hollywood Park in 2:02 2/5, a full second faster than the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1), won by Wild Again. The Classic field also included Gate Dancer, Slew O' Gold, Track Barron, Desert Wine and Precisionist
- Won 1983 Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs
1984 Race Record:   9-6-1-1, $854,791
Lifetime Record:   21-17-2-1, $1,343,339
     
12 - BUSHER
- Champion Two-Year-Old Filly in 1944
- Champion Three-Year-Old Filly, Handicap Mare and Horse Of The Year in 1945
- Won 1945 Arlington H. at Washington Park by nearly 5 lengths, defeating older horses
- Won 1945 Washington Park H. in track record time of 2:01 4/5, defeating Armed (Champion Handicap Horse in 1946 and 1947, and Horse Of The Year in 1947)
- Won 1944 Selima S. at Laurel Park, defeating Gallorette
- Won 1945 Hollywood Derby, defeating colts
- Finished second by a half-length in the 1945 Santa Anita Derby
1945 Race Record:   13-10-2-1, $273,735
Lifetime Record:   21-15-3-1, $334,035
     
13 - SUSAN'S GIRL
- Champion Three-Year-Old Filly in 1972
- Champion Handicap Mare in 1973 and 1975
- Won 1972 Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs
- Won 1975 Matchmaker S. (G1) at Atlantic City, setting a new track record of 1:54 1/5 for 1 3/16 miles
- Won 1972 and 1975 Beldame S. (G1) at Belmont Park
- Won 1973 and 1975 Delaware H. (G1) at Delaware Park
- Won 1973 and 1975 Spinster S. (G1) at Keeneland
1972 Race Record:   13-9-2-2, $352,678
Lifetime Record:   63-29-14-11, $1,251,668
     
14 - GENUINE RISK
- Champion Three-Year-Old Filly in 1980
- Won 1980 Kentucky Derby (G1)
- Finished second in 1980 Preakness S. (G1) and Belmont S. (G1)
- Won 1980 Ruffian H. (G1) at Belmont Park by a nose over Misty Gallore, with It's In The Air (Champion Two-Year-Old Filly in 1978) finishing third
- McCarron subs for Vasquez (who opts for Ruffian)
1980 Race Record:   8-4-3-1, $503,742
Lifetime Record:   15-10-3-2, $646,587
     

Now, for the race:

RUFFIAN breaks alertly, and assumes command from the outset, followed in earnest by LADY'S SECRET, REGRET and TWILIGHT TEAR. BAYAKOA settles into fifth position, while DESERT VIXEN, INSIDE INFORMATION, GO FOR WAND, GALLORETTE and PRINCESS ROONEY race heads apart from the rail out. That group is tracked closely by PERSONAL ENSIGN, BUSHER and SUSAN'S GIRL, with GENUINE RISK bringing up the rear. Into the clubhouse turn, RUFFIAN leads by a length over LADY'S SECRET, while BAYAKOA edges past REGRET into third. DESERT VIXEN hugs the rail in fifth, with GO FOR WAND to her outside, and TWILIGHT TEAR three wide. The rest of the field remains tightly bunched, and they race around the turn without incident.

After a quarter in :22 3/5 and a half in :45 3/5, RUFFIAN extends her lead over LADY'S SECRET to a length-and-a-half, and BAYAKOA maintains her position a neck back in third. During the run down the backstretch, REGRET, without urging from Notter, ranges up outside of LADY'S SECRET and BAYAKOA into second. Meanwhile, TWILIGHT TEAR takes over fifth position, a half-length ahead of GO FOR WAND to her inside, with DESERT VIXEN a neck farther back down along the fence. INSIDE INFORMATION and PERSONAL ENSIGN remain bottled up on the inside, while GALLORETTE tracks TWILIGHT TEAR in the three-path.

RUFFIAN accomplishes six furlongs in a taxing 1:09 2/5, and moves around the far turn with her lead over REGRET shrinking to three-quarters of a length. There are few position changes, as LADY'S SECRET and PERSONAL ENSIGN skim the rail, while TWILIGHT TEAR, PRINCESS ROONEY and SUSAN'S GIRL race wide. Heading into the stretch, the leader and trailer are separated by less than seven lengths, and it's still anyone's race.

Vasquez has not yet asked the great RUFFIAN for her best, as she clings to a half-length lead over Kentucky Derby heroine REGRET after a mile in 1:34 3/5. LADY'S SECRET and BAYAKOA are unable to make up any ground on the leaders, and TWILIGHT TEAR edges past them into third with less than a furlong remaining. Meanwhile, a determined GALLORETTE is making headway in the middle of the track, passing DESERT VIXEN and moving to within two lengths of the lead with a sixteenth of a mile to go. The undefeated PERSONAL ENSIGN explodes through an opening on the rail as a tiring LADY'S SECRET drifts out slightly, but the wire is rapidly approaching. RUFFIAN turns back the challenge of REGRET, but GALLORETTE is cutting into her lead with every stride. As they hit the finish line, it's ... RUFFIAN by a diminishing half-length over GALLORETTE, with REGRET three-quarters of a length farther back in third. Time for the race is a swift 1:47 4/5.

Following is the complete order of finish:

FINISH   HORSE   MARGINS   COMMENT
1   RUFFIAN   1/2   Hung on gamely under pressure
2   GALLORETTE   3/4   Determined stretch run
3   REGRET   1/2   Couldn't stay with winner
4   TWILIGHT TEAR   no   Wide bid, evenly
5   PERSONAL ENSIGN   1   Steadied stretch, finished fast
6   DESERT VIXEN   hd   Saved ground, hung
7   SUSAN'S GIRL   3/4   Wide turns, closed late
8   BUSHER   3/4   Passed tired horses
9   BAYAKOA   1/2   Stalked, weakened
10   LADY'S SECRET   1   Pressed leader, weakened
11   GENUINE RISK   nk   Failed to threaten
12   PRINCESS ROONEY   nk   Wide trip
13   GO FOR WAND   1   Lacked running room, tired
14   INSIDE INFORMATION   -----   Faded inside


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