Saturday, August 01, 2009


BE FAIR SPLASHES HOME A WINNER IN LAKE GEORGE


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – When day-long rain forced the 14th running of the Grade 2, $150,000 Lake George Stakes onto the main track, no one was more relieved for Westrock Stables’ Be Fair than her Hall of Fame trainer, D. Wayne Lukas.

“I would have run her on the turf if it had been normal, but I would not have taken a filly of her caliber and tried her on the turf in these conditions for the first time,” said Lukas.


With the field scratched down to just four starters after the race was taken off the turf, the daughter of Exchange Rate was able to go wire-to-wire as she turned back a challenge from favored Mary’s Follies and splashed home a four-length winner, snapping a five-race losing streak in the process.

“I was trying to keep separation between me and the rest of the field,” said winning rider Rajiv Maragh. “I wanted to give her a breather, and that’s when (Mary’s Follies engaged her), but I knew she had a lot left.”

After setting fractions of 23.81, 47.52 and 1:11.90, Be Fair’s winning time for the 1 1/8th miles over the sloppy track was 1:50.61. Sent off at 3-1 by the crowd of 15,330, she returned $8.40 for a $2 win bet and earned $90,000 to boost her earnings to $194,071.

The Best Day Ever was third, 9¾ lengths back, with Consequence finishing fourth.

Be Fair, a $37,000 purchase as a 2-year-old, won her first two starts at Oaklawn Park this year and then embarked on an ambitious schedule encompassing four Grade 1 races and one Grade 3 event, most recently finishing eighth behind Cat Moves in the Prioress (G1) at Belmont Park.

“I tried her a couple of times and I mismanaged her, putting her in the Prioress and the Acorn and stuff,” said Lukas. “Now, I might have to look at the Alabama (Grade 1, 1¼ miles, August 22) if Rachel Alexandra stays in Alaska or someplace.”

As the race was taken off the turf, the Lake George is subject to downgrading upon review by the Graded Stakes Committee.

Ain’t Love Grand, Keertana, Kiawah Cat, Lady Shakespeare, Miss Keller and Strike the Bell were scratched.


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