'Romance' in F&M Sprint shocker


Pinnacle Racing Stable and trainer Bill Kaplan's 20-1 longshot Musical Romance pulled away on the inside in the stretch to take the $1,818,000 Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs. Switch and Her Smile Came charging late, but Musical Romance (by Concorde's Tune) won by 1 ¼ lengths, covering the seven furlongs in 1:23.47 under jockey Juan Leyva.

Switch edged Her Smile by a head for third. It was another 2 ½ lengths farther back to Pomeroys Pistol. Favored Turbulent Descent finished fifth after a troubled trip that included getting squeezed at the start.

Musical Romance broke second and was challenging the early front-runner Golden Mystery, who completed a quarter mile in :22.40. After a half mile in :45.71, Champagne d'Oro was in front and Musical Romance was running in fourth. Early in the stretch, Musical Romance was third, battling for the lead with Turbulent Descent and Pomeroys Pistol, but she proved to be the strongest. Switch and Her Smile then blew by Musical Romance's former challengers as the wire neared.

The victory improved Musical Romance's career record to nine wins in 33 career races. The 4-year-old filly previously had captured five added-money events, including this year's Presque Isle Downs Masters Stakes.

Kaplan, as agent for Pinnacle, purchased Musical Romance for $22,000 from her breeder, Ocala Stud, agent, at the 2009 Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. spring sale of 2-year-olds in training.

Florida-bred Musical Romance, who is out of the Slew Gin Fizz mare Candlelightdinner, paid $42.40, $15.60, and $8.60. Switch returned $4.80 and $3.40. Her Smile paid $12.40.

Veterinarians advised stewards to scratch Shotgun Gulch from the Filly & Mare Sprint at the starting gate, reducing the field to 12, because she was "off on the left forelimb," according to Dr. C. Wayne McIlwraith, an on-call veterinarian for the American Association of Equine Practitioners.