10/23/2011 4:51PM

Keeneland: Senada springs $35 upset in Dowager Stakes

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Keeneland/Coady Photography
Senada (left) overtakes Upperline to win Sunday's Dowager Stakes at Keeneland.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Senada closed stoutly in the final furlong under Edgar Prado to register just her second career triumph in posting a 16-1 upset Sunday at Keeneland in the 20th running of the $125,000 Dowager Stakes.

Trained by Barclay Tagg for the Lael Stables of Barbaro fame, Senada returned $35.40 after finishing the 1 1/2-mile distance in 2:31.19 over a firm turf. Upperline, a 7-1 shot ridden by Jimmy Graham, was second, three-quarters of a length behind the winner, while Cheetah, the 13-10 favorite in a field of 11 fillies and mares, was another three lengths back in third.

The winner, a 4-year-old Pulpit filly, was eligible for a first-level allowance after having won just once in 15 prior starts. Bred in Kentucky by the Stone Farm of Arthur Hancock, Senada was an $800,000 yearling purchase at the 2008 Keeneland yearling Sales.

“I thought the distance would suit her,” said Tagg. “She’d had some tough luck in some of her previous races. I felt like she’d like the mile and a half, and obviously she did. Edgar rode her perfectly.”

Before an ontrack crowd of 17,512, thousands of them military personnel and their family members, 78-1 shot Royal Madame set the pace, with Cheetah tracking several lengths behind in a perfect spot while clear of the pack. Down the stretch, Cheetah easily shot to the lead, but then Upperline overhauled her nearing the furlong grounds, only to be passed by Senada in the final 70 yards.

After the top three, the complete order was Askbut I Won’ttell, Dyani, Hasay, Grecian Maiden, Endless Expanse, Miss Laa di Da, Malibu Win, and Royal Madame. Speak Easy Gal was an early scratch.

The $2 exacta (2-10) paid $326 and the $1 trifecta (2-10-1) returned $555.

Earlier Sunday, another Polytrack record was set when Grigio ($8.80) won the second race, a maiden special-weight event at 1 1/16 miles, by 7 3/4 lengths in 1:40.86. The new mark erased the 1:41.61 set just three days earlier by Baby Afleet and was the sixth Poly record set at the 13-day-old meet. Prado was aboard Grigio for trainer Jimmy Baker.

Keeneland goes dark for two days before the final four-day stretch of the meet commences Wednesday.