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Keeneland: Balance the Books avoids trouble behind him in Bourbon
By Marty McGee
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.
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.
Balance the Books ran well, but Brown Almighty ran better than looked with trouble. I never thought Big Brown would make a sire but he is proving me wrong.
I hope Real Sharp comes back to be beat them all. His jockey maybe could have done a better job, but the horse ran a great race for the most part, at such low odds.
- 1.Posted 12/05/2013 01:44PM
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