06/26/2009 11:00PM

Decelerator gives Lukas 7th Debutante


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Decelerator emerged narrowly best in a prolonged stretch drive and survived a jockey's objection to allow D. Wayne Lukas to extend his record for wins by a trainer in the Debutante Stakes on Saturday at Churchill Downs.

Decelerator, ridden by Julien Leparoux, brushed lightly with Wild Forest Cat in the final yards of the , but the Churchill stewards quickly ruled that the incident did not merit a disqualification. The victory was the seventh in the Debutante for Lukas, the Hall of Fame trainer whose first such win came with Burnished Bright in 1986.

Decelerator returned $4.60 as the favorite in a field of nine 2-year-old fillies after finishing six furlongs in 1:11.28 over a fast track. Her only prior start resulted in a May 14 maiden triumph at Churchill.

Wild Forest Cat, the 4-1 second choice with Brian Hernandez Jr. riding for trainer Steve Asmussen, finished a neck behind the winner and another 3 3/4 lengths before her Asmussen stablemate, Kinsolving. Tidal Pool, trained by Lukas, was fourth, another six lengths back.

Brown Eyed Baby set the early pace in the 109th Debutante, but by the quarter pole, Wild Forest Cat had wrested a short lead, with Decelerator poised to strike after angling wide to pass a tiring rival. That pair created quick separation from the others, and down the stretch, they momentarily came together, prompting Hernandez to file his unsuccessful claim of foul.

"I didn't want to get stuck in behind, so I took the chance and went around outside," said Leparoux, the leading rider at the spring meet. "She finished up great for me. She is a really good filly."

Decelerator, a Kentucky-bred by Dehere, earned $66,246 for owners Joe and Scott Ford of the Westrock Stables LLC.

w One race earlier, Yate's Black Cat ($14.20) posted his first victory in nearly a year when outnodding 37-1 shot Palace Episode in a $56,400 turf allowance. Miguel Mena was up for trainer Dale Romans.