07/03/2009 11:00PM

Informed Decision cruises


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - It was as easy as it looked on paper. Informed Decision, a 1-5 favorite, went straight to the lead and never was headed, kicking away from pace-pressing Authenicat to win the

by 4 3/4 lengths.

Informed Decision typically stalks or closes - but mainly, she just wins. The easy victory Saturday made it five straight wins for owner George Strawbridge's vastly talented 4-year-old filly. Informed Decision, a daughter of Monarchos, also is 4 for 4 on synthetic tracks now, and 5 for 5 in races run over seven furlongs.

Oh, and by the way: The Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint is a seven-furlong synthetic-track race this year.

The Breeders' Cup would be a year-end goal, but more immediately, trainer Jonathan Sheppard is pointing for the Ballerina Stakes at Saratoga. Sheppard didn't want a gut-wrenching tilt right now for Informed Decision, who hadn't raced since capturing the Humana Distaff on Derby Day at Churchill Downs. And he did not get one.

"There was no pace today in the race," said winning rider Julien Leparoux. "We didn't have any plan - break from the gate and see if anyone wants to go."

No one did, and Informed Decision just led Authenicat through fractions of 23.56 seconds for the first quarter, and 46.70 to the half. Authenicat wound up paying the price for pressing the winner. She faded slightly late, and was caught for second by Unforgotten, who closed from last for second. Crown of Diamonds finished fourth, Chorgagus was fifth, and Tiz to Dream brought up the rear.

Informed Decision was timed in a fine 1:21.49 for seven furlongs - about a half-second off the all-weather track record - and paid just $2.40 to win.

"I've never run a horse at quite that short odds before, to be honest," said Sheppard. "I was quite nervous."