10/29/2015 3:51PM

Falling Sky delivers as favorite in Lafayette Stakes

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Kim Pratt
Falling Sky and jockey Julien Leparoux win the Lafayette Stakes by a half-length Thursday.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Seemingly going nowhere as the field of six older horses turned for home, Falling Sky persevered under jockey Julien Leparoux, edging past Doubledown Again to win the $100,000 Lafayette Stakes on Thursday at Keeneland.

Trained by Marty Wolfson for Newtown Anner Stud and Joseph Bulger, Falling Sky returned $3.80 as the odds-on favorite after finishing seven furlongs in 1:22.53 over a fast track.

Doubledown Again, with Mike Smith aboard, sped to an open lead down the backstretch, and the gray gelding was successful in turning back all bids until Falling Sky pulled even with about 40 yards to go and inched away to a half-length triumph. Nates Mineshaft was third.

It was the fifth stakes win from 19 career starts for Falling Sky, a 5-year-old Pennsylvania-bred horse by Lion Heart.

Favorites dominated throughout the nine-race Thursday card, winning five of the seven earlier races.

The $2 exacta (2-6) paid $14.20, the $1 trifecta (2-6-4) returned $46.50, and the 10-cent superfecta (2-6-4-1) was worth $21.54.

This was the first running of the Lafayette since 2008.

Billed as “Prelude to the Cup,” the Thursday program served as a dress rehearsal of sorts for the Breeders’ Cup cards that will be run here Friday and Saturday.

Attendance was announced at 11,818 on a bright and chilly Thursday afternoon.

First post is 12:30 p.m. Eastern on Friday and 11 a.m. on Saturday.