LEXINGTON, KY (Oct. 29, 2015) – Newtown Anner Stud and Joseph Bulger’s Falling Sky surged past Doubledown Again in the shadow of the wire by a half-length to win the 72nd running of the $100,000 Lafayette Presented by Keeneland Select for 3-year-olds and up on Thursday before a sun-drenched Prelude to the Cup crowd of 11,818.
Trained by Marty Wolfson and ridden by Julien Leparoux, Falling Sky covered the seven furlongs on a fast main track in 1:22.53. It was the fifth Keeneland stakes win for Wolfson and the 47th for Leparoux, who recorded his initial Keeneland stakes victory in the 2006 Lafayette with Likely.
Falling Sky and Coastline dueled for the early lead, but at the half-mile pole Mike Smith sent Doubledown Again to the front. Doubledown Again opened a daylight margin into the stretch and maintained a clear advantage until deep stretch when Falling Sky pushed by.
A graduate of Keeneland’s November Breeding Stock Sale, Falling Sky is a 5-year-old Pennsylvania-bred son of Lion Heart out of the Sea Hero mare Sea Dragoness. The victory was worth $60,000 and increased Falling Sky’s earnings to $558,888 with a record of 19-7-2-2.
Falling Sky returned $3.80, $2.40 and $2.20. Doubledown Again paid $3.20 and $3 with Nates Mineshaft, ridden by Emmanuel Esquivel, finishing another half-length back in third and returning $5.20 to show.
It was three-quarters of a length back to Den’s Legacy, who was followed in order by Midnight Cello and Coastline.
The 32nd Breeders’ Cup World Championships, being held at Keeneland for the first time, begin Friday. The 10-race program, which features four Breeders’ Cup races and three Keeneland stakes, will begin at 12:30 p.m. ET.