10/27/2013 4:54PM

Churchill Downs: Clever Beauty takes Rags to Riches Stakes

Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography
Clever Beauty, with Corey Lanerie aboard, wins the Rags to Riches Stakes on Sunday at Churchill Downs.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Clever Beauty needed help from the stewards to win a maiden race, with a disqualification elevating her from second to first at Churchill Downs on Sept. 20.

Racing Sunday in the $62,700 Rags to Riches Stakes on opening day at Churchill Downs, this time she was fully responsible for her own victory, running down a stubborn Vexed to score by three-quarters of a length under Corey Lanerie.

Clever Beauty, a late-running 2-year-old daughter of Indian Charlie, won the Rags to Riches despite little pace, as Loya went to the lead and established slow fractions of 23.12 and 47.38 seconds in the one-mile race on a fast main track.

But after that rival began to retreat coming into the lane, Clever Beauty moved into position, advancing from fourth to collar Vexed, who had taken command with six furlongs in 1:13.16. Clever Beauty then took the lead and maintained a narrow advantage throughout the lane while appearing to wait on her competitors.

“[Clever Beauty] was laying on that other horse,” Lanerie said, referring to Vexed.

Trained by Rusty Arnold for Richard Masson’s Green Lantern Stables, she raced a mile in 1:37.70 and paid $12.

The favored Tepin, pocketed for much of the race along the inside, ran evenly once clear to be third, another three-quarters of a length behind Vexed.

The Rags to Riches, an overnight stakes named after the 2007 Kentucky Oaks and Belmont Stakes winner, serves as a prep for the Grade 2, 1 1/16-mile Golden Rod on closing day of the Churchill meet Nov. 30.

• Rosie Napravnik was fortunate to escape serious injury after falling to the turf at the start of the seventh race when Be Nice Or Leave unseated her while stumbling leaving the gate. Napravnik was stepped on by her mount, who ran loose following the incident before eventually being caught by an outrider.

Napravnik, the leading rider at the recently concluded Keeneland meet, did not ride the rest of the card. Later in the afternoon, she tweeted, “I’ll be sporting a few new temporary hoof-print tattoos, but I am fine other than a bit [of] soreness.”