05/05/2017 12:56PM

Big World goes all the way in La Troienne

Barbara D. Livingston
Florent Geroux takes Big World wire to wire in the Grade 1 La Troienne on Friday.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – When Finest City was scratched from Friday’s Grade 1, $300,000 La Troienne Stakes at Churchill Downs to run in Saturday’s Grade 1 Humana Distaff, the La Troienne lost more than its best entrant. It also lost its principal speed horse.

Those two factors paved the way for a 7-1 upset in the La Troienne by Big World, who was hustled to the lead under Florent Geroux. Big World carved out relatively slow splits of a half-mile in 48.28 seconds and six furlongs in 1:13.54 in the 1 1/16-mile race in the slop, and turned aside all challengers to post her first Grade 1 victory.

“Florent gets a great deal of credit for understanding what the pace was and being able to slow it down the backside,” winning trainer Tom Amoss said.

It further helped that even-money favorite Paid Up Subscriber experienced a miserable trip, getting bottled up in traffic and checked on the second turn before finishing evenly to be fourth under Joel Rosario.

The 15-1 longshot Romantic Vision rallied wide to grab second, 1 1/4 lengths behind the winner and three-quarters of a length in front of third-place Streamline. Paid Up Subscriber was another half-length back in fourth, beaten 2 1/2 lengths.

Although pace seemed the principal catalyst for Big World’s victory in the La Troienne, a confidence-building winter in which she won four of five races against lesser competition seemed to have her ready for Friday’s class test.

Amoss said he and owner Maggi Moss decided "it was time to see if she could step up and compete against some really good ones."

Big World, a 4-year-old Louisiana-bred daughter of Custom for Carlos purchased by Moss at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. sale in August 2014 for $98,000, improved her earnings to $608,820 in taking the La Troienne. She covered 1 1/16 miles over a sloppy track in 1:44.91, and paid $16.