It has already been a good couple months for Jake Ballis and Rashard Lewis.
With a trip to California looming for their potential Breeders' Cup Classic starter Cigar Street, an early celebration commenced Sunday afternoon for the partnership as their filly White Rose scored her second straight stakes victory, getting up by a nose to capture the $125,000 Rood & Riddle Dowager Stakes going 12 furlongs over the Keeneland turf.
Trained by Bill Mott, White Rose was wheeling back just a few weeks after taking the Kentucky Downs Ladies Marathon Stakes by 13/4 lengths on Sept. 24. That outing marked the first triumph against stakes company for the 4-year-old daughter of Tapit.
In the Dowager, she surged up on the outside of a five-horse rush to the wire, just edging out graded stakes winner Caroline Thomas.
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"Bill always told me she'd be better at age 4 and 5 than she was at 2 and 3," Ballis said. "He's taken his time with her, and the results are paying off. We ran her back on three weeks rest because there's not a lot (of marathon turf races). We think she's better at 11/4 miles than 11/2 miles, but today probably proved me wrong."
White Rose tracked along handily between horses in eighth as I O Ireland cut an opening half of 49.47 over a course rated firm. When jockey Shaun Bridgmohan called upon her for run in the lane, she took aim at Frivolous who had taken the lead at the head of the lane and kept coming with determined strides to cross the wire in 2:31.34.
"She's kind of a weird horse to ride," Ballis said. "If you let her drop too far back she'll take you 20 lengths back. You have to keep her interested. Shaun really knows how to ride her better than anyone."
Race favorite Caroline Thomas was a half-length in front of Appealing Cat for the runner-up spot.