10/24/2008 11:00PM

No one can catch Ball Four


Speed and back-class proved dangerous at a big price Saturday when Ball Four led every step of a spill-marred 50th running of the Grade 3 Fayette Stakes, the closing-day feature of the 17-day fall meet at Keeneland.

Ball Four, a 7-year-old Grand Slam gelding who had raced just once in the last 19-plus months, went wire to wire under Julio Garcia, returning $44.40. Dominican rallied late to finish second, 1 1/4 lengths behind the winner and another 1 1/4 lengths before Stream Cat.

The race was tainted by an ugly spill near the eighth pole when Dr. Pleasure, ridden by Otto Thorwarth, fell after appearing to clip heels in midstretch. Thorwarth was reported by Keeneland officials to be alert and stable while being transported to the University of Kentucky Medical Center for precautionary measures. Dr. Pleasure, trained by John T. Ward Jr., appeared to escape serious injury.

Ball Four, owned by Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith, won the 2006 Kentucky Cup Classic when trained by Patrick Biancone. He has been trained in recent months by Derek Galvin, a longtime associate of Biancone's. In his only start since March 2007, Ball Four had finished eighth in the 6 1/2-furlong Marfa Stakes on Sept. 13 at Turfway Park.

Ball Four, who was being treated with the diuretic Lasix for the first time in 22 career starts, earned $93,000 from the $150,000 purse after finishing 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.37 over Polytrack. His career bankroll now stands at $609,520.

Mambo in Seattle, the 6-5 favorite under Corey Lanerie, was never a factor when finishing seventh in a field of 11.