Updated on 09/18/2011 12:10AM

Joint Effort takes Dogwood BC by a length

Josh Abner / Churchill Downs
Joint Effort, Rene Douglas up, wins the $167,850 Dogwood Breeders' Cup Stakes by a length on Saturday at Churchill Downs.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Trainer Dale Romans wishes Joint Effort could run all her races at Churchill Downs. Having once again shown her fondness for her home track by racing to victory Saturday in the $167,850 , Joint Effort may make her next start in the Grade 1 Test Stakes at Saratoga, "but I wish it was here," Romans joked afterward.

Joint Effort raced just off the pace while always in ideal striking position in the one-mile Dogwood, and when jockey Rene Douglas asked her at the quarter pole to overtake front-running Coronado's Vision and Joyful Rhapsody, the filly sped away to a one-length victory over Ready to Please. Victorina was just a head back in third in a field of nine 3-year-old fillies.

Joint Effort returned $5.40 to win as the slight favorite over Ready to Please after finishing in 1:35.49 over a fast track.

Douglas told Romans his mount won more comfortably than the final margin suggested. "It was a perfect race," said Romans. "Rene said once she got in front, she had everything under control."

Joint Effort, a Runaway Groom filly bred and owned by Don Dizney, now has 4 wins and 3 seconds from 7 Churchill starts. Overall, she is 5 for 12. Romans said he believes Joint Effort "has no distance limitations" and that he will try to get her to the 1 1/8-mile Breeders' Cup Distaff, to be run Nov. 4 at Churchill.

The seven-furlong Test is set for Aug. 5 at Saratoga.

Opening Verse: Rush Bay wins duel

Rush Bay turned back Purim in a dramatic stretch duel to capture the $109,000 under Rafael Bejarano.

Rush Bay, trained by Tom Amoss, returned $7.40 as second choice in a field of five older turf horses. Coming off a narrow victory in a classified allowance on the May 6 Kentucky Derby undercard, Rush Bay finished a head ahead of Purim, the 11-10 favorite. Free Thinking, who set the early pace, finished third, followed by On the Acorn and Senor Swinger. Everything to Gain and Mad Adam were scratched.

Rush Bay finished 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.52 over a firm turf course. He and Purim carried equal weight of 118 pounds.

Rush Bay, bred and owned by the family of Phoebe Ann Mueller, now has won 3 of 4 starts on the Churchill turf. A 4-year-old colt by Cozzene, Rush Bay has won 5 of 13 overall, with the Opening Verse being his second stakes victory, following the Jefferson Cup nearly a year ago at Churchill.

Texas Gitter: Yucatan in an upset

Yucatan ($30), ridden by Calvin Borel, rallied from last to overtake favored Atticus Kristy in the final yards in the $69,600 Texas Glitter, an overnight handicap at five furlongs on turf. Yucatan, trained by Sherman Mitchell, capped an all-stakes pick four that returned $933 for each $2 wager. The pick-four handle was $389,205.

- Earlier Saturday, Bejarano rode four straight winners, all of them favored, in races 3 through 6: Prima Sarita ($3.80), Sonny's Legacy ($4), Southern Flu ($3), and Lexi's Moon ($5.80).