Merriebelle Stable’s Blue Prize (ARG) ran down Elate in the final sixteenth of a mile to win the 64th running of the Grade One Juddmonte Spinster for fillies and mares by a half-length before a Sunday afternoon crowd of 10,303.
Trained by Ignacio Correas IV and ridden by Joe Bravo, Blue Prize earned a fees-paid berth into the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Santa Anita. She finished fourth in the Distaff last year at Churchill Downs.
The 6-year-old Blue Prize also became the fourth horse to win the race in consecutive years with the most recent being Take Charge Lady in 2002-2003. Other horses to do it were Bayakoa (ARG) (1989-1990) and Bornastar (1957-1958).
Also earning Breeders’ Cup berths Sunday were a pair of 2-year-olds, JSM Equine’s Peace Achieved, who won the 29th running of the $250,000 Dixiana Bourbon, and Ten Broeck Farm’s Kimari, winner of the second running of the $200,000 Indian Summer.
In the Juddmonte Spinster, She’s a Julie led the field of five through fractions of :24.25, :48.63 and 1:13.12 with Vexatious in closest pursuit and Elate to the outside and Dunbar Road on the rail running a joint third.
In the stretch, Elate and Dunbar Road pushed to the front, but Bravo had Blue Prize rolling on the far outside to wear down the leaders and eventually draw away from Elate in deep stretch.
Blue Prize covered the 1 1/8 miles on a fast main track in 1:50.30. The Juddmonte Spinster victory was worth $300,000 and increased her earnings to $1,592,253 with a record of 22-9-8-3.
Blue Prize is a daughter of Pure Prize out of the Not For Sale mare Blues for Sale.
Dunbar Road claimed third place, while She’s a Julie was another 4¾ lengths back in fourth followed by Vexatious.