04/09/2009 12:00AM

Informed Decision gets up at wire


LEXINGTON, Ky. - That's two straight sensational performances at Keeneland for Informed Decision - and two straight brutal beats for Ventura.

With John Velazquez making all the right moves, Informed Decision used a torrid inside run Thursday to nip heavily favored Ventura in the final strides of the Grade 1, $300,000 Vinery Madison Stakes. The victory came in the first start for Informed Decision since she ran off to a 4 1/4-length romp here last fall in the Grade 2 Raven Run Stakes.

For Ventura, the winner of the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint, the head defeat was much like her last race, the Grade 1 Kilroe Mile on the Santa Anita turf, where she seized the lead in deep stretch, only to be beaten right on the wire.

Informed Decision, a gray 4-year-old by Monarchos, is owned by the Augustin Stable of George Strawbridge and trained by Jonathan Sheppard. She returned $8.20 as second choice after finishing seven furlongs in 1:21.64 over Polytrack.

In its first year as a Grade 1 event, the Madison was contested before an ontrack crowd of 8,314. Dubai Majesty, a 20-1 shot, held an open lead most of the way, but by midstretch she was being engulfed. After Ventura, the 2-5 choice under Garrett Gomez, made the lead with a huge outside run, Informed Decision took her turn, rallying strongly up the rail after splitting horses at the eighth pole.

"The other horse had the momentum, so I was like, 'Oh, I waited too long,'" Velazquez said. "It took longer than I thought, but she got it done."

Bear Now ran third, 1 1/4 lengths behind Ventura, followed by Dubai Majesty, Bsharpsonata, and Authenicat. Proud Heiress was an early scratch.

Informed Decision has won 6 of 8 starts, including all three on the Keeneland Polytrack.

In earlier Thursday action:

* A racing rarity occurred in the fifth race when Telling and French Beret dead-heated for second, and Birdbirdistheword and Musketier dead-heated for fourth. The six-horse turf race was won by favored Nergal ($5), ridden by Gomez.

* Perfectly Campbell, ridden by Tony Farina, returned the longest price of the meet when scoring at a $121.20 mutuel in the fourth race.