11/08/2004 12:00AM

Halory Leigh wins Churchill Downs Distaff

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Four Footed Fotos
Halory Leigh pulls an upset over favored Lady Tak and 10 other fillies and mares in the Churchill Downs Distaff Handicap on Sunday.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Confirming a sensational last win at Keeneland, Halory Leigh followed through with another huge effort Sunday when pulling a 14-1 upset over favored Lady Tak and 10 other fillies and mares in the Grade 2, $230,400 .

Trained by Dale Romans and ridden by Craig Perret, Halory Leigh moved up steadily after racing well back through the opening half of the one-mile Distaff, then raced past Lady Tak with surprising ease to notch the first graded stakes, and easily the richest, triumph of her 20-race career.

Lady Tak, the multiple graded winner who was sent off the 13-10 choice, finished five lengths behind the winner and another three-quarters of a length before Susan?s Angel.. My Boston Gal was fourth and Island Sand was fifth.

Halory Leigh, owned by a partnership led by Jerry Crawford, returned $31.20 after finishing in 1:35.05 over a fast track. In her previous start, the 4-year-old Halory Hunter filly won an Oct. 10 allowance race at Keeneland with a tremendous late run.

"I kept trying different things with her, and finally things seemed to click for her," said Romans.

Lady Tak, ridden by John Velazquez, appeared very comfortable on the lead for much of the way. She appeared to have put her challengers away before Halory Leigh emerged from the pack to run her down in the final furlong.