10/02/2010 6:07PM

Havre de Grace turns tables on Blind Luck

Email
Bill Denver/Equi-Photo
Havre de Grace (5), Jeremy Rose up, wins the Fitz Dixon Cotillion by a neck over Blind Luck.

Havre de Grace finally won a photo finish over summer nemesis Blind Luck in Saturday's Grade 2, $750,000 Fitz Dixon Cotillion at Parx Racing, and in the process might have put herself in the running for another showdown with the nation's top 3-year-old filly in next month's Grade 1, $2 million Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic.

"I think there will have to be a conversation about the Breeders' Cup," Tony Dutrow, who trains Havre de Grace for Rick Porter, said immediately following the Cotillion. "I don't know what Mr. Porter will want to do. It will have to be discussed."

Havre de Grace had tussled with Blind Luck in both the Grade 2 Delaware Oaks in July and the Grade 1 Alabama in August, and in both races came up on the wrong side of the photo. Blind Luck edged her by a nose in the Delaware Oaks, then by a neck in the Alabama. And through the stretch run of the Cotillion, it looked like it might happen again as Blind Luck significantly cut into Havre de Grace's clear lead. Ultimately, Blind Luck came up a neck short, with Havre de Grace covering the1 1/16 miles in a near-track-record time of 1:40.93.

"It's been a summer of excitement with these two," said Dutrow. "We're so thrilled with today's victory."

Havre de Grace ($4.40) settled in third early behind pacesetter Bonnie Blue Flag, who was pushed along by Absinthe Minded through an opening quarter in 23.88 seconds and the first half-mile in 47.28. Havre de Grace began her bid in earnest approaching the three-eighths pole, and overtook Bonnie Blue Flag after six furlongs in 1:10.84. Into the stretch, Havre de Grace looked home free until Blind Luck began her windup and made it a horse race in the final sixteenth of the Cotillion.

"That Blind Luck will not go away," said Dutrow.

Blind Luck, who was the 3-5 favorite off a record that included a win in this year's Kentucky Oaks, gave each of her rivals 10 pounds in the Cotillion per the conditions of the race. She carried 124 pounds on Saturday to Havre de Grace's 114, one race after the pair met at equal weights in the Alabama.

"We just did our best and we didn't win," said Jerry Hollendorfer, who trains Blind Luck. "We don't expect to win every race, but I think we'll be ready for the Breeders' Cup."

Jeremy Rose was aboard Havre de Grace, who won her first stakes in the Cotillion. She was won of three winners on the program for Dutrow, and the first-place check of $435,000 that she earned improved her bankroll to $675,175. Havre de Grace has now won 3 of 7 starts for Porter's Fox Hill Farm.

The BC Ladies' Classic will be run at Churchill Downs on Nov. 5. Porter won the race in 2006 with Round Pond, at Churchill.