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Mar 25, 2011

Havre de Grace gets best of Blind Luck at Oaklawn


Hot Springs, AR (Sports Network) - Havre de Grace and Blind Luck met for the fifth time on Saturday and it was Havre de Grace who proved the better horse in the $150,000 Azeri Stakes at Oaklawn Park.

The two fillies faced each other four times last year with Blind Luck getting the best of Havre de Grace in three meetings, including two outright wins.

Blind Luck won the Delaware Oaks and Alabama, while Havre de Grace took the Cotillion Stakes. Their last meeting was in the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic in which Blind Luck finished second and Havre de Grace third to Unrivaled Belle. Blind Luck was voted 2010 champion three-year-old filly.

Blind Luck, with Garrett Gomez riding, was the 6-5 favorite in the seven-horse field. Havre de Grace and jockey Ramon Dominguez were the 8-5 second choice.

Setting the pace in the 1 1/16-mile race was Absinthe Minded with Shotgun Gulch in second and Tidal Pool running in third. Havre de Grace was close up in fourth while Blind Luck was last about eight-lengths behind.

On the final turn Havre de Grace drew even with the leader from the outside with the favorite beginning her rally. Havre de Grace quickly took the lead leaving the turn as Blind Luck gained ground in the middle of the track.

Havre de Grace opened her lead down the stretch while Blind Luck came charging on the outside. However, Havre de Grace was just too good this day and registered a 3 1/4-length victory over her arch rival.

Finishing third was Absinthe Minded followed by Tidal Pool, Shotgun Gulch, Kimber Lily and Spacy Tracy.

Havre de Grace won the Azeri in a time of 1:42.02 on a fast track.

Owned by Fox Hill Farm, Havre de Grace earned $90,000 to push her career earnings to $963,175. The four-year-old, trained by Larry Jones, has won four of nine career starts.

Havre de Grace, in her 2011 debut, paid $5.20, $2.60 and $2.20. Blind Luck returned $2.60 and $2.10, and Absinthe Minded paid $3.00 to show.

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