05/01/2009 11:00PM

Informed Decision extends streak

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Justin N. Lane
Informed Decision was nearly scratched by trainer Jonathan Sheppard, but she won the Grade 1 Humana with a late surge.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - It wasn't until Jonathan Sheppard arrived at Churchill Downs about the fifth race on Saturday that he firmly decided not to scratch Informed Decision from the Humana Distaff because of a wet track. And it wasn't until the final 50 yards that Informed Decision looked like she might actually win the race. But with a powerful late surge, Informed Decision overtook pacesetting Dubai Majesty and held clear closing 32-1 bomb Temple Street to win her second Grade 1 race in about three weeks.

"She must be a pretty nice filly," said Sheppard. "To win on a different surface than she's used to, and with a little bit of a rough trip. She's pretty game."

Informed Decision's timed workout for the Grade 1, $300,000 Humana Distaff came Tuesday, but she went off too slowly and clocked only 1:04 for five furlongs. Sheppard felt Informed Decision needed a bit more work, and gave her a stretch blowout Thursday, followed by a final wet-track spin around the sloppy Churchill surface on Saturday morning.

All systems go, Informed Decision went to post on a wet track for the first time in her career. She broke alertly, but was no match early for Dubai Majesty, who seized the early lead from expected pacesetter Secret Gyspy and set off on a fevered speed mission. Under Kent Desormeaux, Dubai Majesty went her opening quarter-mile in 22.28 seconds, and sped into the far turn, clicking off a half-mile in 44.86 seconds while well clear. Dubai Majesty still had four lengths on the field at the stretch call - but the pacesetter was out of gas.

"I thought we were going to win until the final 10 yards," said Dubai Majesty's trainer, Bret Calhoun. "Did they move the wire back? I thought it would never come."

What came were the closers. Informed Decision tracked the speed while saving ground under Julien Leparoux, and once clear in midstretch, wore down the speed with a more sustained, less flashy burst of speed than she used to win the Grade 1 Vinery Madison Stakes on April 9 over Keeneland's Polytrack.

"At the quarter pole, I said there's no way [Dubai Majesty] was going to come back," said Leparoux. "But at the eighth pole, she really kicked in for me."

Dubai Majesty dead-heated for third with Modification. Favored Game Face made mild midstretch progress, but faded to sixth. Second choice Secret Gypsy struggled with the racing surface, her connections said, and finished last of eight.

The winner, a 4-year-old daughter of Monarchos, is owned by the Augustin Stable. She won for the seventh time in nine career starts, was timed in 1:23.69 for seven furlongs on a sloppy track, and paid $8.40 to win.