11/28/2013 4:52PM

Churchill Downs: Wine Princess caps career with win in Falls City Handicap

Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography
Wine Princess, making the final start of her career Thursday, wins the Falls City Handicap under jockey Shaun Bridgmohan.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – To borrow a phrase once used by the late turf writer Jack Mann, Wine Princess won from here to maternity.

Ridden to perfection by Shaun Bridgmohan in her final race before heading to the breeding shed, Wine Princess went out in the proverbial blaze of glory Thursday when pulling away from seven other fillies and mares in the 98th running of the Grade 2, $165,300 Falls City Handicap at Churchill Downs.

“This was great,” said trainer Steve Margolis, who bid a bittersweet goodbye to Wine Princess. “I told Shaun to ask the filly for everything she had, and boy, she really gave it. Just fantastic.”

From the start of the 1 1/8-mile race, Bridgmohan kept Wine Princess within striking distance of Magic Hour on a moderate pace. Leaving the far turn, Wine Princess loomed boldly while continuing her perfect trip, and once Bridgmohan put her to a drive, the 4-year-old filly surged away, prevailing by 2 3/4 lengths over Don’t Tell Sophia, the 122-pound highweight and 17-10 favorite.

Flashy American was another 1 1/4 lengths back in third.

Wine Princess returned $10.80 as the third choice after finishing in 1:50.12 over a fast track.

A regally bred daughter of two winners of the Horse of the Year title – Ghostzapper (2004) and Azeri (2002) – Wine Princess retires with five wins, five seconds, and earnings of $461,561 from 13 starts.

She was sold privately in October to the Hill ‘n Dale Farm of John Sikura while still running her last two races under the silks of original owner Becky Winemiller. She had finished second to Don’t Tell Sophia in her previous race, the Nov. 2 Chilukki at Churchill.

Donato Lanni, representing Hill ‘n Dale, said Wine Princess definitely will be retired, adding that a mating for the 2014 breeding season has not been finalized.

After Flashy American, the order of finish was My Option, Magic Hour, Ice Cream Silence, Molly Morgan, and Owl Moon.

Fiftyshadesofhay did not make the trip from California and was an early scratch.

The $2 exacta (7-9) paid $28.80, the $1 trifecta (7-9-1) returned $27, and the 10-cent superfecta (7-9-1-6) was worth $10.47.