Updated on 09/17/2011 5:52PM

Midway Road wins Fayette by a nose

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Bill Straus/Keeneland
Midway Road (inside) out duels Total Impact to win the $161,250 Fayette Stakes by a nose at Keeneland on Saturday.

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Owner Will Farish and trainer Neil Howard did not have a starter in this year's Breeders' Cup, but they still had a good day Saturday. Their older horses Midway Road and Alumni Hall finished first and third in the Grade 3, $161,250 on closing day of the Keeneland fall meet.

It was a hard-fought victory for the pacesetting Midway Road, who, after setting fractions of 23.70 seconds for a quarter-mile and 47.35 for the half-mile, was pressured for the final five furlongs of the 1 1/8-mile race by the Hollywood Gold Cup winner Total Impact. Midway Road and Total Impact were separated by a head-bob throughout the stretch run. Though repeatedly bumped by Total Impact throughout the stretch, Midway Road prevailed by a nose.

"I thought I finally had him about three strides before the wire," said winning jockey Calvin Borel, who substituted for regular rider Robby Albarado. "All the credit goes to Mr. Howard, who had this horse ready."

Total Impact, who started as the 13-10 favorite, conceded four pounds to the winner and was six lengths clear of Alumni Hall in third.

In winning the Fayette, Midway Road became the second horse in Keeneland history to win both of Keeneland's two major races for older horses, the Ben Ali and the Fayette, in the same year. Homebuilder, in 1988, was the first to do so.

Midway Road ($5) covered nine furlongs over a track labeled good in 1:50.39. The exacta with Total Impact paid $10.40.

Howard said that the Clark Handicap on Nov. 26 at Churchill Downs is a possible next start for Midway Road.

* Jockey Rafael Bejarano earned his first Keeneland riding title, winning 26 races during the 17-day fall meet that concluded Saturday. Pat Day and the apprentice Brian Hernandez Jr. each rode 20 winners and were the only other riders with more than 10 victories. Trainers Steve Asmussen and Nick Zito shared the training title with 11 winners each.