10/05/2007 11:00PM

Purim tops off day of upsets

EmailLEXINGTON, Ky. - On a Saturday afternoon when favorites were blanked in all five stakes at Keeneland, Purim pulled the biggest upset of all, nailing Cosmonaut on the wire in the $648,000 Shadwell Turf Mile and returning $43.80.

Giving jockey Jamie Theriot the first Grade 1 victory of his career, Purim earned an automatic berth in the Oct. 27 Breeders' Cup Mile under the "Win and You're In" provision carried by four of the five stakes. Tom Proctor, who trains Purim for breeder-owner E.J. Sukley, said he was inclined to send the 5-year-old Dynaformer horse to Monmouth Park for the BC Mile.

It took the entire mile of the Shadwell for Purim to be in a position to go. Before an ontrack crowd of 24,480, and amid sweltering temperatures, T.D. Vance led early but was overtaken by Spotsgone on the backstretch while Cosmonaut laid in perfect striking position. Ridden by Julien Leparoux and trained by Patrick Biancone, Cosmonaut, a 9-2 shot, suddenly pulled away to a commanding lead in midstretch and seemed to have victory within reach, but Purim, sixth most of the way, launched a torrid surge that had him a neck in front at the finish.

Shakis, the 3-1 second choice, finished another 3 3/4 lengths back in third, while Art Master, the 3-1 third choice, was fifth, and Astronomer Royal, the lukewarm 3-1 favorite, checked in sixth in a field of nine turf veterans.

Victory in the Shadwell, the richest race of the 17-day Keeneland fall meet, was worth $372,000 and lifted Purim's bankroll to $923,003.

The defeat for Cosmonaut culminated a frustrating two days for Biancone, who on Friday was given a one-year suspension by the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority for a drug infraction. He sent out the beaten favorites in the Alciabiades on Friday and the Thoroughbred Club of America and First Lady on Saturday, then watched Cosmonaut get nipped in the final strides of the Shadwell.

Other winners in the Saturday stakes were Wild Gams ($8.20) in the TCA, Off Duty ($29.40) in the Phoenix, Vacare ($7.80) in the First Lady, and Wicked Style ($24.20) in the Lane's End Breeders' Futurity.

No 6-of-6 tickets were sold on the Saturday pick six, which offered a guaranteed pool of $150,000. A carryover of more than $100,000 awaited Sunday fans.