Updated on 10/13/2011 10:14AM

Keeneland: Leader's wayward stretch run helps Animal Spirits capture Bourbon

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Keeneland/Coady Photography
Animal Spirits, second against maidens in his only previous start, scores a surprise win in the Bourbon.

Animal Spirits was along in the final strides Sunday at Keeneland to post his first career victory in the Grade 3, $150,000 Bourbon Stakes, a Grade 3 turf race that might well be remembered more for a freaky spill involving the leader in midstretch than anything else.

Ridden by Robby Albarado for trainer Al Stall Jr., Animal Spirits was coming off a runner-up finish in a Saratoga maiden race in his only prior start when he surged late to defeat Coalport by a half-length in the 1 1/16-mile Bourbon. Lucky Chappy was third and Splendiferous was fourth in a field of 12.

The spill drew huge gasps from the crowd when Here Comes Frazier, the race-long leader and 7-2 second choice, suddenly shied from a right-handed whip from jockey Julien Leparoux and crashed into the inner aluminum rail, throwing Leparoux over it.

Fortunately for Leparoux, he was not seriously injured, although he did complain about pain in his right wrist but felt well enough to ride his last two mounts of the day. Leparoux rode four winners Friday and Saturday to take a commanding lead during opening weekend of this 17-day fall meet.

Here Comes Frazier, trained by Ken McPeek, was taken off the track by horse ambulance and was later transported to the nearby Rood and Riddle veterinary hospital after showing signs of lameness in his hind end.

Animal Spirits, a 2-year-old Arch colt owned by Klaravich Stables and William H. Lawrence, returned $18.60 after finishing in 1:44.24 over a firm course. The Bourbon is not a Win and You’re In event toward the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, but that would be a plausible next start for the winner.

The victory was the second in a “FallStars Weekend” race for a 2-year-old maiden, as Dullahan won the Grade 1 Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity on Saturday for his first career triumph.

The win also was the second in a graded turf stakes over the FallStars Weekend for Albarado, who on Saturday won the Woodford at the Lexington, Ky., track aboard Havelock.

Blame, the best horse trained by Stall to date, also was sired by Arch.