Updated on 09/17/2011 11:33PM

Reunited hangs on for win

Bill Straus/Keeneland
Reunited holds on to win the $300,000 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes at Keeneland on Sunday.

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Neil Howard just might be right. The veteran trainer said six furlongs is the ideal distance for Reunited, and the filly lent credence to that theory Sunday when she barely held on to win the $300,000 at Keeneland.

Reunited, the lone 3-year-old in a field of 10 fillies and mares, collared the speedy Forest Music in the final half-furlong of the Grade 3 TCA Stakes, then was fully extended to finish a head clear of a torrid late run by Miss Terrible. Robby Albarado was aboard Reunited, who returned $12 as second choice with her first graded stakes victory.

Savorthetime finished third and Vision of Beauty was fourth. Previously unbeaten Behaving Badly, the 7-5 favorite, was never a threat in finishing eighth.

Will Farish is the breeder and owner of Reunited, a Dixie Union filly who completed six furlongs in 1:11.59 over a fast track.

On another picturesque afternoon, Forest Music set a fast pace as Reunited opened a big lead on the rest of the field while giving closest pursuit. In the crucial final yards, Reunited surged past Forest Music, then frantically dug in to hold off Miss Terrible, a 12-1 shot ridden by David Flores.

"We anticipated a fast pace," said Albarado. "Neil said she would settle, and she did."

Howard had calculated that, primarily because of distance, Reunited stood a better chance in the TCA than against 3-year-olds in the Grade 2, $300,000 Raven Run Stakes, which will be run this coming Saturday at Keeneland. The Raven Run is contested at seven furlongs.