01/02/2010 1:00AM

Category Seven DQ'd into Furl Sail win


NEW ORLEANS - Though Never Retreat hit the wire first after a stretch duel with Category Seven in the at Fair Grounds, the stewards disqualified Never Retreat, handing victory to Category Seven.

Piloted by Richard Eramia, Category Seven went four wide into the turn, and was in front by a length in the stretch until Never Retreat, ridden by James Graham, ranged alongside and brushed her. Never Retreat hit the wire a neck in front, but was disqualified to second after a stewards' inquiry and a jockey's claim of foul.

"The last four jumps, she bumped a little bit," said Eramia.

For the trainer of Never Retreat, Richie Scherer, the disqualification was frustrating.

"I thought she was the best horse in the race, but that's the way it goes," said Scherer.

Never Retreat traveled the 1 1/16 miles in 1:46.42 over good turf.

One of the longest shots in the field of 11, Category Seven paid $34.40 to win and earned $36,000 for trainer Kenneth Hargrave and owner James Perron Racing Stable.

Category Seven finished in the money in all 13 of her races in 2009, and continues the streak into 2010.