Updated on 09/17/2011 11:35PM

Turfway: Ball Four wires Tejano Run

Pat Lang
Ball Four and Julien Leparoux win the $49,500 Tejano Run Stakes at Turfway Park.

Ball Four made a successful return to action, when he led all the way under apprentice Julien Leparoux to win the $49,500 Tejano Run Stakes at Turfway Park in Florence, Ky.

Trained by Patrick Biancone, Ball Four had been on a 5 1/2-month freshening before returning in the 1 1/8-mile Tejano Run. A 5-year-old gelding by Grand Slam, Ball Four returned $5.40 after finishing in 1:51.97 over Polytrack.

Ask the Lord, the 2-1 second choice, rallied to finish second, three-quarters of a length behind the winner. Doc D was another three lengths back in third in a field of 11 older horses.

Ball Four, now a winner in 4 of 14 starts, is owned by Derrick Smith and Michael Tabor. His most notable performance coming into the Tejano Run was his second-place finish behind Shaniko in the Grade 2 Kentucky Cup Classic at Turfway in September.

The victory continued a remarkable winter-spring meet for Leparoux, who has been mentored by his fellow Frenchman, Biancone, since coming to the United States nearly three years ago. Leparoux is the leading jockey in wins in North America this year.