Ventura, the 2008 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint winner, took the lead in deep stretch under jockey Garrett Gomez but Informed Decision and John Velazquez rallied in the final 100 yards of the seven-furlong race for a head victory.
“When she (Ventura) passed me, I thought, ‘Oh, I guess I waited too long.’ Finally, she (Informed Decision) got between horses, she kicked on. She did it for me because I fell asleep a little too long.”
Bear Now finished another 1 ¼ lengths back in third. She was 1 ¼ lengths in front of fourth-place Dubai Majesty in the field of six fillies and mares. Bsharpsonata and Authenicat completed the field.
Time for the seven furlongs on the fast Polytrack was 1:21.64.
Informed Decision, who is owned by George Strawbridge Jr.’s Augustin Stable and is trained by Jonathan E. Sheppard, won for the third time in as many starts on Keeneland’s Polytrack. The daughter of Monarchos had been away from the races since winning the seven-furlong, Grade 2 Raven Run Stakes at Keeneland in October in track-record time.
The winner paid $8.20 as the second choice and improved her record to six wins in eight career starts. She increased her earnings to $522,587 with the winner’s purse of $186,000.
Ventura moved five horses wide to take the lead inside the sixteenth pole, but she couldn’t repel Informed Decision’s closing bid along the inside.
“She quits; her head goes flat and she just stops,” said Gomez. “Once she makes the lead she’ll run about 50 yards and then she loses focus and it’s over. We had a real good trip but I wish we could have followed her (Informed Decision).”