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Senada Snaps 11-Race Drought in Dowager Upset

Jack Shinar, Blood Horse

Sent off at odds of 16-1, Senada snapped an 11-race losing streak when she came from far off the pace to collar Upperline in deep stretch, capturing the $125,000 Rood and Riddle Dowager Stakes on the Keeneland turf Oct. 23.

The result was a pleasing one for Arthur Hancock III’s Stone Farm, which bred the winner and is part owner of the runner-up. Senada, who won by three-quarters of a length, and 7-1 shot Upperline combined for a $326 exacta.

Cheetah, the 6-5 favorite in a field of 11 older fillies and mares, finished third. The final time for the 1 1/2-mile Dowager was 2:31.19 over firm going.

Trained by Barclay Tagg for Roy and Gretchen Jackson’s Lael Stables, Senada is often close while rarely winning. In taking the Dowager, the $800,000 Keeneland September yearling registered her first victory since breaking her maiden in her fourth start in March 2010 on the turf at Gulfstream Park.

While the 4-year-old daughter of Pulpit out of the multiple grade II turf winner Owsley has now won just twice in 16 starts, she has four seconds and six thirds in her career.

Ridden for the first time by Edgar Prado, Senada raced in ninth while saving ground to the quarter pole before advancing from between horses and angling to the outside for the homestretch. Surging through the lane, Senada still had three rivals to beat at the eighth pole but reeled them all while edging away in the final strides.

“Having watched the filly run a couple times at Saratoga, it seemed like she had one big kick at the end,” said Prado after recording his third win of the day at Keeneland. “Barclay told me to bide my time, save ground and come with a run at the end. I was very happy when I saw that she is out of Owsley. I won with Owsley here before. She handled the course beautifully and came home very strong.”

Upperline, stalking the leaders into the stretch for James Graham, took over approaching the furlong marker from Cheetah, who had grabbed the lead for Garrett Gomez on the final turn. Upperline finished three lengths clear of Cheetah, who held on by a head for third over late-running Askbut I Won’ttell.

Royal Madame, opening up by as many as six lengths on the field, stepped the opening half-mile in :49.46 and a mile in 1:40.62 before giving way to Cheetah, who had been tracking the front-runner in second.

Tagg said he realized Senada preferred a longer distance when she finished second by a neck to Emerald Beech in a 12-furlong overnight stakes on Saratoga’s inner turf course Aug. 10. She followed that effort with a third-place finish in the 11-furlong Glens Falls Stakes (gr. IIIT) over a soft inner course at Saratoga Sept. 5, her most recent start.

“We just can’t find mile-and-a-half races for her very often,” Tagg said. “We always thought she’d like it that way. Edgar (Prado) rode her to perfection and it worked out.”

Senada boosted her earnings to $184,876 with the winning purse of $75,000. The dark bay/brown filly carried 120 pounds to victory and paid $35.40, $13, and $5.20 as the sixth choice.

Grade III winner Upperline, rebounding from a last-place finish in the Kentucky Cup Distaff (gr. IIIT) at Turfway Park Sept. 24, returned $8.80 and $4.60.