Updated on 09/17/2011 10:49PM

Madcap Escapade back on track in Princess Rooney

Skip Smith
Madcap Escapade and jockey Jerry Bailey win the $500,000 Princess Rooney Handicap at Calder Race Course during the Summit of Speed on Sunday.

MIAMI, Fla. - Madcap Escapade bounced back from her unexpected defeat in the Grade 1 Humana Distaff Handicap with a dominating performance in Sunday's $500,000 at Calder. Madcap Escapade led throughout en route to a 5 1/4 length victory over the previously undefeated Happy Ticket who suffered her first loss in 10 career starts.

Madcap Escapade, a 4-year-old daughter of Hennessy owned by Bruce Lunsford, finished a tiring fifth as the 2-5 favorite in the Grade 1 Huamana Distaff on Kentucky Derby day. The loss was just the second in eight tries and her first ever around one turn.

With regular jockey Jerry Bailey aboard, Madcap Escapade broke alertly from her outside post, controlled the pace after posting fractions of :21.69 seconds and :44.64 then easily pulled away once settling in the stretch before being ridden out to her final margin of victory.

Happy Ticket, who'd won all nine previous starts including the Grade 3 Chicago Breeders' Cup Handicap just three weeks earlier, overcame a rough trip to finish three-quarters of a length in front of Savorthetime. Happy Ticket broke slow, was bumped and steadied near the end of the backstretch, angled four wide while rallying into the stretch before outgaming Savorthetime for second money.

Molto Vita, Prospective Saint and Sensibly Chic completed the order of finish. Locals Sorbet and Wild Speed scratched earlier in the day.

Madcap Escapde paid $3.00 as the overwhelming favorite. Her time of 1:09.93 was just .13 seconds slower than Woke Up Dreamin's final clocking winning the Smile Sprint earlier in the day. Trainer Frank Brothers was not in attendance on Sunday.

"She's broken better in her last couple of races, settled better than she has been then punched late," said Bailey. "I told Frank I didn't like the way she felt over the Churchill Downs track after her last start. She's so fast it's like trying to harness an uncontrollable wind attempting to slow her down entirely but I've noticed a difference trying to rate her in her last couple of starts and that helps her to finish better."

Trainer Andrew Leggio Jr. took Happy Ticket's first loss in stride.

"She ran great and I'm sorry she didn't win but she got beat by a real nice horse although I'd like another chance at the winner going seven furlongs in the Ballerina," said Leggio.