LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- In the days before the Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes, it appeared unlikely Dubai Majesty would wind up being supplemented for a $90,000 fee to the $1 million Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint at Churchill Downs.
But after the former claimer won that Oct. 9 race at Keeneland, Dubai Majesty's owners, Bill and Stephanie Martin and Dan Morgan, couldn't help themselves. They decided to fork over the money, and their calculated gamble paid off with their greatest victory in racing when Dubai Majesty posted a 2 1/4-length victory Friday in the fourth running of the Filly and Mare Sprint.
"We were $90,000 confident," a laughing Morgan said afterward.
In what was widely seen as a wide-open field of 13, as evidenced by the fact there was a 4-1 post-time favorite, Dubai Majesty got a great trip from post 12, breaking sharply before settling into stride to chase the pace down the backstretch of the seven-furlong race.
"She put me well into the race on her own," said winning jockey Jamie Theriot.
Leaving the turn, as early leader Gabby's Golden Gal began to tire, Dubai Majesty loomed boldly from the outside, and from the quarter pole home, she steadily edged away for her 12th and easily the richest victory of her 34-race career.
"I was just a passenger down the lane," said Theriot.
Switch rallied to be second, another three lengths before Evening Jewel. Champagne d'Oro, a big part of the pace mix, faded to be fourth and was followed by Sweet August Moon, Sara Louise, Informed Decision, Rinterval, Jessica Is Back, Gabby's Golden Gal, Secret Gypsy, Moontune Missy, and My Jen.
Switch and Evening Jewel both raced in mid-pack before firing, albeit too late to menace Dubai Majesty.
"The winner was too good," said Joel Rosario, who rode Switch.
Dubai Majesty, a 5-year-old Florida-bred by Essence of Dubai, returned $19.20 as seventh choice after finishing in 1:22.31 over a fast track. Early in her career at Calder, she competed for a $25,000 claiming tag before being privately purchased by the Martins and Morgan. She had won 3 of 6 prior starts at Churchill, including the last two runnings of the Winning Colors Stakes. She earned $540,000 to lift her career bankroll to $1,509,243.
"We were excited about running her here at Churchill," said winning trainer Bret Calhoun. "She's been very consistent, very honest for us all along. She's a wonderful mare."
Dubai Majesty is scheduled to sell Sunday in the Fasig-Tipton sale in Lexington, Ky., although her owners said they are considering withdrawing her or raising her reserve price considerably.
The win was the first in the Breeders' Cup for all of the connections.
Rightly So, the 3-1 morning-line favorite, was scratched early Friday by the BC Veterinary Panel, which conducts pre-race examinations on all horses. Champagne d'Oro wound up being the 4.40-1 favorite.