10/11/2012 5:02PM

Keeneland: Moonwalk upsets in Jessamine at 36-1

Keeneland/Coady Photography
Moonwalk (second from right), with Corey Lanerie riding, wins the Jessamine in a blanket finish.

LEXINGTON, Ky. - As if Dale Romans didn't have enough starters for the upcoming Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita, he now has another in Moonwalk, who earned an expenses-paid berth into the BC Juvenile Fillies Turf after the filly pulled a 36-1 stunner Thursday in the Grade 3, $150,000 Jessamine Stakes at Keeneland.

Always near the front with Corey Lanerie aboard, Moonwalk dug in late to prevail in a blanket finish in the Jessamine, a 1 1/16-mile turf race with a Win and You're In designation.

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Moonwalk, bred and owned by the Spendthrift Farm of B. Wayne Hughes, returned $74 after finishing in 1:45.17 over a firm course. Kitten's Point was second, a nose behind the winner and another head before Summer of Fun, while Oscar Party was just another nose back in fourth. In fact, only 1 1/4 lengths separated the top seven finishers in a field of 11 2-year-old fillies.

The Churchill Downs-based Romans, who already has such proven stalwarts as Dullahan, Shackleford, Little Mike, and Tapitsfly as BC prospects, said he was inclined to give Moonwalk a shot in the Nov. 2 BC Juvenile Fillies Turf. He said he was "somewhat surprised" the filly won Thursday but had enough confidence to enter her.

"You never know when you lead them over here," he said. "I don't know why we wouldn't go to California with her. We have a free roll."

Moonwalk is by Malibu Moon out of the Red Ransom mare Lucinda K. She was coming off a third-place finish behind Oscar Party in the Kentucky Downs Juvenile Fillies. Like every other filly in the race, she had one previous win.

Romans and Hughes combined for one of the biggest payoffs in Breeders' Cup history last year, taking the BC Mile with Court Vision at 64-1.

On a cool, sunny day, and with 10,051 in attendance, Sunset Time set the pace, with Moonwalk in closest chase. Passing the eighth pole, as Sunset Time began to fade, the field began to bunch closely, with Summer of Fun taking a short lead over Moonwalk with the gang closing in. The final few yards were chaotic, but "I felt like I won," said Lanerie, who finished closest to the rail.

The $2 exacta (4-5) paid $463.20, the $1 trifecta (4-5-7) returned $2,977.50, and the dime superfecta (4-5-7-6) was worth $960.63.

Zip Cash Back and Street of Gold were early scratches.