06/25/2011 6:46PM

Churchill Downs: Flashy Lassie upsets in Debutante

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Reed Palmer Photography/Churchill Downs
Flashy Lassie, with Kent Desormeaux riding, defeats Five Star Momma in the Debutante.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Heading into Saturday's Grade 3, $109,300 Debutante Stakes at Churchill Downs, favorites Shocktime and Culotte had the highest speed figures and the most eye-catching victories. But Flashy Lassie, a maiden $20,000 winner in her only start, had an intangible advantage - that being the good karma coming from trainer Garry Simms.

That, as well as her own skill and determination, proved enough for Flashy Lassie to run down Five Star Momma in the closing yards of the six-furlong Debutante to win by a length.

The victory from Flashy Lassie was the first stakes win at Churchill Downs for trainer Garry Simms, who has battled cancer for the past couple years, going through two bone marrow transplants since December alone.

After watching his filly rally to win the Debutante, "all the pain leaves," he said, smiling.

Flashy Lassie, a 2-year-old daughter of Flashy Bull owned by Barry L. King and purchased for just $4,000 as a yearling, benefited from a patient, well-timed ride from Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux.

Although the filly had won her debut by nine lengths after racing on the lead, Desormeaux allowed her to settle comfortably in sixth early, seven lengths behind 8-5 favorite Culotte, as that one blitzed the opening quarter mile of the race in 21.57 seconds under hot pursuit from Shocktime.

Even as the field hit the stretch, Flashy Lassie was six lengths behind, and seemed to be running for a minor award after Five Star Momma swooped three wide to the lead with a half-mile in 45.16 seconds.

But the final quarter-mile proved a test of stamina for the lightly-raced 2-year-old fillies, and Flashy Lassie kicked in when it mattered most. She steadily advanced down the lane, passing the winner 40 yards or so before the wire.

"She's exhausted," Desormeaux told Simms as she was being led into the winner's circle. "That tells you how hard she tries."

She raced the six furlongs in 1:10.89, paying $37.20 as the longest price among the field of seven that was reduced by one when Defy Gravity was scratched.

Queen Teuta rallied from last to grab third, 8 3/4 lengths behind Five Star Momma. My Due Process was fourth and was followed across the wire by Tippy Toes, Culotte, and Shocktime.