04/20/2007 11:00PM

Slew's Tizzy improves image

Mathea Kelley/Horsephotos
Slew's Tizzy, the longest shot on the board, shocks the Lexington Stakes, wiring a field of nine 3-year-olds at 40-1 under jockey Robby Albarado.

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Slew's Tizzy became infamous this winter as the longshot who stumbled and lost his rider during the Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds, nearly derailing the Kentucky Derby hopes of Circular Quay, who was fortunate to avert injury when narrowly dodging the incident.

Slew's Tizzy became known for a far better reason Saturday, when 33,821, the largest crowd in the 71-year history of Keeneland, turned out to watch him go wire-to-wire when pulling a stunning 40-1 upset in the 26th running of the $325,000 Lexington Stakes.

As the final graded prep for the May 5 Kentucky Derby, the Grade 2 Lexington is a free ticket to the Derby, which trainer Greg Fox said he and owner-breeder Joe LaCombe were not initially inclined to accept because "our philosophy is we don't run horses back in two weeks." Slew's Tizzy earned $201,500, more than enough to make the Derby on the basis of graded earnings, the criteria for Derby entry in case of more than 20 entries.

Slew's Tizzy, a Kentucky-bred by Tiznow, returned $83 as the longest shot in a field of nine 3-year-olds after finishing 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.20 over Polytrack.

None of the favorites in the Lexington was a factor, as Starbase, a 36-1 shot, was along to take second, 3 1/2 lengths behind Slew's Tizzy and three-quarters of a length before Forty Grams, the 5-1 fourth choice. Belgravia, the 9-5 favorite, finished last, while Soaring By, the 3-1 second choice, pressed Slew's Tizzy most of the way before fading to seventh. Joe Got Even, the 9-2 third choice, was fifth.

Robby Albarado, who already has the mount on the likely Derby favorite, Curlin, was aboard Slew's Tizzy for the surprisingly easy triumph.

"He had his ears up and was content to be there on the lead," said Albarado. "He exploded when I called on him."

In the Feb. 10 Risen Star, Slew's Tizzy was 82-1 when he threw rider James Graham in the path of heavily favored Circular Quay, with no serious injury resulting to any horses or riders. In his only subsequent race, the March 10 Louisiana Derby won by Circular Quay, Slew's Tizzy finished seventh of eight starters at 57-1.

LaCombe is best known as the owner of Favorite Trick, the 1997 Horse of the Year who finished eighth in the Derby the following year. Fox, 45, is a licensed veterinarian who turned primarily to training in February 2005. Fox's stable is based at a private farm in Lexington.

The long prices on the top finishers resulted in $2 payoffs worth $1,002.20 for the exacta, $14,726.20 for the trifecta, and $97,128 for the superfecta.

The $65,000 earned by Starbase, trained by

D. Wayne Lukas, apparently will not allow him to make the race if more than 20 enter.