03/19/2011 6:44PM

Oaklawn: Havre de Grace defeats Blind Luck in Azeri

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Havre de Grace ran sensationally off a layoff Saturday to easily defeat her archrival, Blind Luck, in the 25th running of the Grade 3, $150,000 Azeri Stakes at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark.

With Ramon Dominguez aboard for trainer Larry Jones, Havre de Grace prevailed by several lengths, returning $5.20 as second choice. It was her first race since she finished third in the Nov. 5 Breeders’ Cup Distaff.

Absinthe Minded set the pace, with Havre de Grace settling nicely in fourth and Blind Luck last of seven fillies and mares. Leaving the half-mile pole, Havre de Grace launched her bid, and she had her neck in front approaching the quarter pole as Blind Luck, the 6-5 favorite, began to uncoil.
Down the stretch, it was no match, with Blind Luck getting up late to be second, with Absinthe Minded holding third.

Havre de Grace, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Saint Liam, finished 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.02 over a fast track. The 4-year-old filly is owned by the Fox Hill Farm of Rick Porter. She was making her first start for Jones after being conditioned in her first eight starts by Tony Dutrow.

It was the fifth meeting between Blind Luck and Havre de Grace. Blind Luck, the Eclipse winner in the 3-year-old filly division of 2010, had finished ahead of her rival in three of those four prior meetings. Both could return next month in the Grade 1 Apple Blossom at Oaklawn.

The $2 exacta (4-7) paid $10.20 and the $1 trifecta (4-7-6) returned $25.30.