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Churchill: Helen Belen Edges Speedacious

Desk Farms LLC’s Helen Belen edged past Speedacious in the final yards to score an upset victory in the $49,374 Friday afternoon feature for fillies and mares on the main track at Churchill Downs by a half-length.


Trained by William Denzik Jr. and ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr., Helen Belen covered the six furlongs in 1:10.21.


Helen Belen broke well and then settled in third behind Speedacious and Won Great Damsel through fractions of :22.08 and :45.72. The 4-year-old daughter of Five Star Day moved for the lead at the top of the stretch, drew even with Speedacious at the sixteenth-pole and finally drew clear of her rival in the final jumps. 


Breaking from the gate at odds of 15-1, Helen Belen returned mutuels of $32.80, $12.60 and $6. Carl R. Moore Management LLC’s Speedacious finished second to return $4.80 and $3.80 with Michael Thompson’s Irish Witch another 5 ¾ lengths back in third returning $7.20.


The victory was worth $31,200 and increased Helen Belen’s bankroll to $149,440 with a record of 5-2-4 from 18 lifetime starts. Her career is highlighted by a 14 ¾-length victory in the Valdale Stakes at Turfway Park in February 2010.


Racing continues Saturday with a 10-race program highlighted by the 21st running of the $175,000-added Mrs. Revere (Grade II) for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles on the Matt Winn Turf Course. First post is 12:40 p.m. EST with the Mrs. Revere scheduled as the ninth race at 4:37 p.m. The program also features a two-day Pick 6 carryover of $4,871 on Races 5-10 and a three-day Super Hi-5 carryover of $29,822 in the finale.




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