02/20/2011 5:43PM

Keertana foils longshot Zapparition in The Very One


Keertana inherited the lead from tiring pacesetter Belle Watling, then held off 24-1 longshot Zapparition to win Sunday's Grade 3, $150,000 The Very One Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

A 5-year-old mare ridden by Jose Lezcano for trainer Tom Proctor, Keertana ($7.20) tracked the Chilean superstar mare Belle Watling in second through dawdling fractions of 53.03 seconds, 1:20.07, and 1:45.08 for most of the 1 3/8-mile turf race. Despite the easy pace, Belle Watling, making her United States debut after winning 13 of 16 starts, faded in the stretch to finish fourth, beating only Changing Skies, the 6-5 favorite.

Keertana had enough left to finish a quarter-length clear of Zapparition, the longest shot in a field of five fillies and mares. Musical Rain finished third at 13-1.

In winning for the first time since taking the Grade 3 Glens Falls Handicap at Saratoga, Keertana improved her record to 9 for 23. The winning time was 2:19.33.