09/11/2010 8:31PM

Informed Decision closes fast to win Masters

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Renee Torbit/ Coady Photography
Informed Decision, foreground, gets up to win a photo finish in the Grade 3 Masters.

After stumbling soon after the start, Informed Decision needed every inch of the Presque Isle Downs stretch to get up and win the Grade 3 $400,000 Presque Isle Masters on Saturday evening.

Informed Decision trailed the 11-horse field until the stretch, and on the turn it appeared she might finish out of the money.

Jockey Julien Leparoux asked the 5-year-old mare for her best in the stretch and she responded, closing willingly while racing in the middle of the track to get up in the final stride and win by a head.

Dr. Zic set quick fractions of 22.00 and 44.60 before fading in the stretch and finishing sixth.

Dubai Majesty made a late surge and led in the final strides only to be overtaken at the wire by Informed Decision. Sweet Lorena was a neck back in third. Informed Decision returned $3.20 and ran the 6 1/2 furlongs in 115.62.

After the race, trainer Jonathan Sheppard expressed his surprise at her early placing.

“I was very worried early, I didn’t expect her to be so far back.”

Informed Decision appeared to come out of the gate well, but it in her second and third strides stumbled while in tight between horses and dropped back quickly.

Sheppard was relieved after the race.

“After I talked to Julien and found out what happened, I felt better,” he said. “She really showed a lot of heart tonight to overcome what she had to.”

Informed Decision’s future plans have not yet been determined, according to Sheppard.

“I am just not sure,” he said. “We wanted to wait until after this race and make a plan, maybe the Breeder’s Cup but perhaps a race between.”

Prior to the Masters, Sheppard hinted that he might want to try Informed Decision on the turf, and one can presume that remains a possibility before he decides which Breeders’ Cup event to enter.