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Apr 22, 2011

Brilliant Speed rallies to win Blue Grass Stakes



Lexington, KY (Sports Network) - The late running Brilliant Speed got up just in time to edge Twinspired to capture the 87th running of the $750,000 Blue Grass Stakes on Saturday at Keeneland Racecourse. The winner's check of $450,000 qualifies Brilliant Speed for the Kentucky Derby.

A total of nine winners of the Blue Grass have won the Kentucky Derby and another 10 horses who ran in the race have won the Run for the Roses. However, a Blue Grass Stakes winner has not captured the Kentucky Derby since Strike the Gold in 1991.

Trained by Tom Albertrani, who also had King Congie entered, Brilliant Speed was ridden for the first time by Joel Rosario who was also in the Blue Grass for the first time.

Setting the pace in the 1 1/8-mile race was Joes Blazing Aaron followed closely by Praetereo, Twinspired and Queen'splatekitten. Santiva, the 2-1 favorite, was initially running in sixth behind 7-1 third choice Willcox Inn. The 5-1 second pick Crimson China was racing well off the pace.

Up the backstretch Joes Blazing Aaron continued to lead with Praetereo, Twinspired and Queen'splatekitten all holding their positions. Around the final turn Joes Blazing Aaron was along the rail with Twinspired moving into second. Entering the stretch the first four runners were across the track.

At the top of the stretch Twinspired took over the lead as Brilliant Speed and King Congie began their moves. Twinspired, ridden by Robby Albarado, had a clear lead with a furlong to run.

Nearing the finish Twinspired was on the inside with King Congie to his outside and Brilliant Speed third from the rail. At the wire Brilliant Speed got the jump on his two rivals and posted a nose victory over Twinspired.

The winner's stablemate King Congie was a close third followed by Newsdad, Crimson China, Joes Blazing Aaron, Queen'splatekitten, Willcox Inn, Santiva, Wilkinson, Praetereo and Sensational Slam.

The time for the Blue Grass was 1:50.92 on the track's synthetic surface.

Owned by Live Oak Plantation, Brilliant Speed recorded his second career win in eight starts and was racing on a synthetic track for the first time. He had five previous starts on turf.

"It seems to be the trend with turf horses going to synthetic," said Dan Blacker assistant to trainer Tom Albertrani. "A lot of the turf horses, they seem to run equally well on the synthetic."

The colt was second in Gulfstream Park's Dania Beach Stakes in January and third behind King Congie in the Hallandale Beach Stakes two months ago. Brilliant Speed has earnings of $515,750.

Brilliant Speed returned $40.20, $20.80 and $13.00. Twinspired, at 24-1, paid $21.20 and $11.80, and King Congie, sent off at 13-1, paid $8.80 to show.

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