Lady Budapest looked like just another steed at the Kennard Memorial Turf Club yesterday.
Until the final furlong that is.
That is when the thoroughbred, with Michael Semple in the stirrups, pinned back her ears and kicked clear to win the feature B1 and Lower seven- furlong event of the Post-Emancipation meet, beating crowd favourite, Score’s Even and the rest of the cavalry in the process.The Dark Brown mare stormed out of third post and bided her time while Jack In My Style and the recently imported Golden Blue Echo set a blistering pace in the cool conditions.
The move under the blue sky came in a flash.
Jack In My Style had the lead, Golden Blue Echo and Spit Fire were lurking as jockey Semple was waiting for the right moment to go.
The race was going according to his plan.
Around the second turn, Semple angled the champion race horse to the outside of the pace setters and the horses were neck-and-neck with four furlongs to go.
And then the theatrics started to unfold. Crowd puller, Score’s Even briefly threatened sending the turfites into a frenzy.
But Spit Fire along with Jack In My Style, Golden Blue Echo and Lady Budapest went clear, their lead building with every powerful stride. And then it happened.
With one breathtaking surge over the final furlong, Lady Budapest with Golden Blue Echo on her hip seemingly never tired, displayed superb sprinting speed. The steed drew off on the home straight to claim the $1M first prize for her handlers from the J.Bactowar Stables by about a length ahead of Golden Blue Echo who was imported from Canada a few weeks ago.
Jack In My Style finished third, while Spit Fire faded on the stretch to finish fourth.
An out of form Score’s Even finished last about seven lengths behind in the five-horse field.
The big win for Lady Budapest punctuated a successful day on the turf. Earlier in the day, the mare also won the E and lower event to pocket the $600,000 first prize.
Before the feature, there were six races. Here is a summary of them:
Race 1 (L and Non Winners)
Country Boy ($120,000)
Back Street Boys
Race 2 (E and lower)
Lady Budapest ($600,000)
Light Up Canada
Race 3 (H1 and lower)
Precise Gold ($240,000)
It’s My Turn
Race 4 (L Open)
She’s In Control
Race 5 (Two-Year Old Guyana Bred)
Awesome Cash ($200,000)
Race 6 (G1 and lower)
Isn’t She Charming ($200,000)
The ‘Sport of Kings’ continues on October 2 at the Port Mourant Turf Club.