10/21/2006 12:00AM

Longshots sweep top three spots


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Leah's Secret rebounded from a pair of disappointing losses with the best race of her career when she got a perfect trip Saturday under Mark Guidry to score an upset in the Grade 2, $300,000 at Keeneland.

Leah's Secret, dismissed at 18-1 after off-the-board finishes in her previous races at Arlington and Turfway, wore down Vestrey Lady, a 17-1 shot, in registering her first stakes victory. The winner paid $38.80 after finishing seven furlongs in 1:22.74 over Polytrack.

On a sunsplashed but cool afternoon, longshot Lake Alice led early, but by the time the field straightened for home, no more than a few lengths separated the entire field of 12 3-year-old fillies. Inside the eighth pole, Vestrey Lady, a Woodbine shipper entered off a pair of stakes wins, held a tenuous lead, but Leah's Secret was relentless and was up to win by three-quarters of a length.

"I had a great trip," said Guidry. "I was in the catbird's seat the whole way. I was first to the outside overlooking the speed. Turning for home, I pressed on her, and she responded gamely."

A third longshot, Ex Caelis

(23-1), finished third, a half-length behind Vestrey Lady, triggering huge mutuels across the board. The $2 exacta paid $490, and the $2 trifecta paid a whopping $26,441.

Leah's Secret had won 3 of 4 races before her two most recent disappointing races, but Helen Pitts, who trains the Florida-bred filly for First Klass Stable, said she felt she should give the filly one more try against top company.

"It was a matter of catching straight 3-year-olds at the end of the year and hoping we could get away with it," said Pitts.

Windy, the 2-1 favorite under Rafael Bejarano, rallied belatedly to finish fourth, while the other favorites fared no better. My Lucky Free, the 5-1 second choice, was sixth, and Sabatini, the 5-1 third choice, was never a contender when finishing 10th.

John McKee was aboard Vestrey Lady. "We were just second-best today," said McKee. "She gave me a great effort. I was proud of her."

Ontrack attendance was 22,293.