Ridden by Jamie Theriot and trained by Bret Calhoun, Dubai Majesty and Lady Chace dueled through early fractions of :21.78 and :45.11 in the six-furlong stake. The two raced as a team to the eighth pole where Lady Chace, ridden by Miguel Mena, gained a brief advantage.
But Dubai Majesty fought back on the inside and reclaimed the lead at the sixteenth pole and drew away to the victory. Lady Chace, who lost momentum when she suddenly swerved out in the stretch in the final yards finished a neck ahead of Keep the Peace and Corey Lanerie, but was disqualified by track stewards for interference with that rival and was placed third.
Dubai Majesty, a 4-year-old Florida-bred daughter of Essence of Dubai out of the Great Above mare Great Majesty, covered the distance over a track rated as “good” in 1:10.61. The victory, the seventh in 20 career starts, was worth $66,169 and increased Dubai Majesty’s career earnings to $395,957.
Dubai Majesty, the favorite in the field of seven, returned $4.60, $3 and $2.60. Keep the Peace returned $4 and $3.40 and Lady Chace paid $4 to show. Completing the field in order were Temple Street, Tiz to Dream, Nadeshiko and Tar Heel Mom.
Earlier on the Memorial Day card, trainer Ken McPeek recorded his 1,000th career victory when Old Man Buck won the eighth race under Calvin Borel. McPeek, a 46-year-old native of Fort Chaffee, Ark., has notched 235 of those victories at Churchill Downs.
The victory was the fourth of five on the day for Borel, who also had a five-win day on Saturday. The two-time Kentucky Derby-winning rider has 32 victories through the first 22 days of the spring meet, one fewer than leader Julien Leparoux, and has won with 14 of his last 26 mounts.
Racing resumes at Churchill Downs after a three-day break on Friday with a 10-race card that begins with a 2:45 p.m. EDT post time.
JAMIE THERIOT, jockey of DUBAI MAJESTY (winner): “She put us in the game early and I knew I had to keep her there to keep her happy. When I called on her, she sprinted away and the horse on the outside (Lady Chace) fought back. But then she dug back in the last sixteenth-of-a-mile and showed a lot of heart and game today.”
BILL MARTIN, co-owner of DUBAI MAJESTY (winner): “She just shows up every time. That’s just her and we run her every three weeks. She’s as sound as money and she just keeps trying. She’s one of those horses who just loves her job. She loves to train and she loves to race. The more mature she gets, the better she gets.”
Q: What might be next?
“We’re looking at the Princess Rooney down at Calder in July (Note: The Grade I, $350,000 Princess Rooney for fillies and mares at six furlongs will be run at Calder Race Course on Saturday, July 11). We won that race two years ago with River’s Prayer. It’s an option and so are a couple of races up in Canada.”
EDDIE KENNEALLY, trainer of KEEP THE PEACE (third, placed second via DQ)
“Keep the Peace ran well. We’re happy with the way she ran. She always shows up and she likes Churchill. She relaxed just off the pace today and kicked it in, and the winner is probably a nice filly.”
Q: You’ve got to feel like you’re going to win one of these someday…
“She shows up all the time. She never runs a bad race and I feel that she will win. She’s placed in so many graded stakes, it’s too bad she hasn’t won one. But she’s sound and doing well, so I feel like probably during the course of the year she should or will win one.”
COREY LANERIE, jockey on KEEP THE PEACE (third, placed second via DQ)
“She ran good. She surprised me when she was off the pace today, but the pace was pretty hot. She relaxed great. I got a stalking trip on the outside and was gaining at the end. I didn’t think I was going to threaten the winner, but if she (Lady Chace) had not been getting out on me I think I would have been second for sure.”
STEVE MARGOLIS, trainer of LADY CHACE (second, placed third via DQ)
“She was running huge, then she ducked out when he (jockey Miguel Mena) switched sticks. She did that once at the Fair Grounds with (jockey John) Jacinto. She gets a little funny with the stick. I thought were gonna go by the winner, then when he hit her she ducked out near the wire.
“It cost her a lot of momentum – she’s such a big horse. I don’t think it was that bad, really. The horse has improved, but she’s got her little quirks about her. She won that race at the Fair Grounds, but almost got taken down for the same thing. But she ran a big race today.”
MIGUEL MENA, jockey on LADY CHACE (second, placed third via DQ)
“It looked like she was going to win. She had made her one little move, then I hit her left-handed and she ducked out from the stick and it cost me that second place. I thought I didn’t cost them (Keep the Peace and jockey Corey Lanerie) anything, but rules are rules.”