10/07/2012 5:07PM

Keeneland: Balance the Books avoids trouble behind him in Bourbon

Coady Photography
Balance the Books, with Julien Leparoux aboard, goes past Really Sharp to win the Bourbon for 2-year-olds.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Balance the Books passed all 11 of his fellow 2-year-olds on the way to a popular victory Sunday as the odds-on favorite in an otherwise trouble-filled 22nd running of the Grade 3, $150,000 Bourbon Stakes at Keeneland.

Balance the Books, with Julien Leparoux aboard, rallied farthest outside to avoid much of the stretch turmoil that occurred when the horse he narrowly defeated, 38-1 shot Really Sharp, raced erratically down the stretch, bothering several rivals.

“I saw all the trouble happening, but it did not affect me much,” said Leparoux.

[BREEDERS' CUP 2012: DRF top 10 lists, video replays, latest news]

After a stewards’ inquiry, Really Sharp, ridden by Elvis Trujillo, was placed sixth for his foul. The official order after Balance the Books was Brown Almighty, Sonofasamurai, and Summit County.

Balance the Books returned $3.80 after finishing the 1 1/16-mile distance in 1:45.15 over a firm turf.

Balance the Books, trained by Chad Brown for the Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence, earned an expenses-paid berth into the Nov. 3 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf because the Bourbon was a Win and You’re In event. A son of Lemon Drop Kid, Balance the Books was coming off a victory in the Grade 2 With Anticipation Stakes over the Saratoga turf.

“He’s a wonderful horse,” said Brown, on hand from his New York base. “I think he’s coming into the Breeders’ Cup the right way.”


Really Sharp was always near the pace in the Bourbon, and turning into the stretch, he clung to a tenuous lead. As several others moved up to threaten, the colt began veering in and out, causing obvious interference.


The Bourbon is the race in which Here Comes Frazier crashed into the inner rail last fall, with Animal Spirits going on to win.