Keeneland

Dr. Zic pulls Grade I surprise in Vinery Madison

For the better part of her career, Informed Decision had made Keeneland her unofficial playground by winning all four of her starts at the Lexington track.

In Thursday's running of the Grade I Vinery Madison, however, Dr. Zic let it be known that Keeneland was her home turf.

Trainer and co-owner Joan Scott happily watched her filly Dr. Zic pull off what no other horse had done when she upset defending race winner and 1-2 favorite Informed Decision in the 7-furlong Vinery Madison in gate-to-wire fashion.

Not only was Informed Decision previously unbeaten at Keeneland, but the 5-year-old was 7-for-7 over synthetic tracks before Thursday, including her victory in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint which helped earn her the 2009 Eclipse Award for champion female sprinter.

In her first start since the Breeders' Cup in November, Informed Decision couldn't get going quick enough as 15-1 shot Dr. Zic drew off under jockey Kent Desormeaux for a 21/2-length victory and the first Grade I win for both herself and her trainer.

"In all her races she's always showed a ton of natural speed," said Scott, who opened her stable in 2002 and is based primarily at Keeneland. "This race came up and it looked like we had a good shot on her home turf here.

"This is fabulous, especially since we're here at Keeneland with all our owners. You work so hard doing this and there are some long days but ... it was our great day today."

Dr. Zic broke her maiden at Keeneland in October 2008 and won the Sandpiper Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs her next time out.

After emerging from her third-place run in the 2009 Grade II Forward Gal Stakes with an ankle chip, she was given an eight-month break before returning with a sixth-place run in an allowance race at Keeneland last October.

"It just took her a little while to get her feet back under her," Scott said. "In the fall she started picking up and she trained super all winter. She does everything so easily, that's the best thing about her."

Dr. Zic certainly had her way on the front end in the Vinery Madison. After getting the opening quarter in :22.97, Desormeaux gave her a bit of a breather as she reached the half in :46.01 with the previously unbeaten Witty and Informed Decision sitting just off the pace.

Coming off the final turn, Desormeaux took a quick peek to see if Informed Decision was coming at him before hitting the wire in 1:21.32.

"Today she was so calm and collected, and she stayed that way all the way to the quarter pole," Desormeaux said. "When I encouraged her to go fast, she just lunged to the wire."

Dubai Majesty came running late for second with Informed Decision holding on for third.

Dr. Zic paid $33.40 to win, and the $2 exacta with Dubai Majesty returned $228.60.

"Maybe she just needed the race, but the winner ran awfully good and she was going to be tough to catch," said Jonathan Sheppard, trainer of Informed Decision. "She just didn't finish as strongly as she can."

While Informed Decision is probably headed to the Grade I Humana Distaff at Churchill Downs on May 1, Dr. Zic's next start has not been determined.

"Oh, let's just enjoy this one for a few minutes," Scott laughed.

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