07/23/2010 6:55PM

Le Mi Geaux captures Schuylerville on Spa's first day

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. thought Friday's Grade 3, $100,000 Schuylerville Stakes was too tough a spot for his 2-year-old filly Le Mi Geaux and ran her only at the request of owner Landson Robbins.

Dutrow was never happier to be wrong.

Taking advantage of a hotly contested pace between co-favorites Stopspendingmaria and Let's Get Fiscal as well as a relatively clean trip under apprentice rider Frederic Lenclud, Le Mi Geaux splashed down the middle of the sloppy Saratoga stretch to score a 1 1/2-length victory in the opening-day feature.

Stopspendingmaria, the slight 2-1 favorite, finished second by 2 3/4 lengths over a green Show Me the Bling, who ducked in near the sixteenth pole. Let's Get Fiscal finished fourth followed by Dos Lunas and Spa Sunrise.

According to Lenclud, Le Mi Geaux was supposed to be up on the pace. But after she broke outward and bumped with Let's Get Fiscal, Le Mi Geaux was fifth, while Stopspendingmaria, Let's Get Fiscal, Show Me the Bling, and Spa Sunrise all went after the lead.

The four-horse duel quickly became a two-horse battle around the far turn with Stopspendingmaria on the inside and Let's Get Fiscal on the outside through a half-mile in 45.87 seconds.

Lenclud launched a wide bid around the turn and into the stretch as Stopspendingmaria appeared to put away Let's Get Fiscal. Show Me the Bling, under Julien Leparoux, was attempting to re-rally before ducking in after switching to her wrong lead in deep stretch. Meanwhile, Lenclud had Le Mi Geaux in the six path, and she persevered past Stopspendingmaria about 50 yards from the wire.

Le Mi Geaux, a daughter of 2005 Hopeful winner First Samurai, covered six furlongs in 1:13.67 and returned $20.20.

"She learned something today. We were supposed to be really close to the lead like she was last time," said Lenclud, who rode the filly to a 7 1/4-length maiden win at Churchill on June 20. "She didn't break as sharp and there was a lot of speed, so I had to sit behind the leaders. When I got her clear down the lane she got balanced she really took off."

Dutrow opted to stick with Lenclud in the Schuylerville even though he does not get the five pounds off that an apprentice gets in a non-stakes race.

"I like riding riders that win on my horses, it's hard for me to take them off," Dutrow said. "The combination between a rider and horse is extremely important, so I like following that lead as long as I can."

Dutrow said he followed the lead of Robbins, who convinced him to run despite Dutrow thinking his filly was in too tough.

"I have to give all the credit to the owner," Dutrow said. "We were fighting. I didn't want to run her here, and he did. I followed his lead, and look at us now. I thought she was in too tough - obviously I was wrong again."

Le Mi Geaux will most likely be pointed to the Grade 1 Spinaway here on Sept. 5.