Longshot Petionville Indeed Pulls Upset in Walmac Lone Star Oaks

(Friday, July 4, 2003)- Petionville Indeed, making a huge jump into stakes company off her maiden victory in May, drew off to an impressive four-length upset over Tiva’s Little Sis in Friday night’s $100,000 Walmac Lone Star Oaks in front of a season-high 26,318 fans at Lone Star Park.

Overlooked at 22-1 by bettors, Petionville Indeed and jockey Terry Stanton covered the 1 1/16 miles over a firm turf course in 1:43.88 for trainer Dallas Keen and owner Everest Stables of North Oaks, Minn.

The 3-year-old filly by Petionville relaxed well behind early leaders Sea Bloom and Heart of the Cat in a full field of 12. Around the far turn, Stanton asked Petionville Indeed for run and the filly responded with an effortless surge to the front of the pack. As Petionville Indeed widened her margin, the only question was whether Stanton would be able to hang on as his mount admired the facility in the final furlong.

“As soon as she made the lead she started pricking her ears and just ducking and diving all over the racetrack,” Stanton said. “When I hit her, she ducked out. When I hit her again left-handed, she ducked again, so I decided I had to switch to my right hand. I thought I was going to go straight into the rail.

“I grabbed a hold of her and got her straight,” Stanton continued. “I looked over at the [Sony JumboTron on the infield tote board] and saw there was nobody in sight, so I tried to take a hold of her and she jumped out from me again at the wire. I thought I was gone.”

Keen, the hot trainer of the moment with 11 wins from 22 starters the last three weeks, explained that Petionville Indeed has always been a curious horse.

“She just looks at everything,” Keen said. “We waited a good while before we ever started her because she does a lot of looking in the mornings. She’d bounce off the rail trying to work her.”

In her last race, similar antics nearly cost Petionville Indeed her first win in a maiden special weight for 3- and 4-year-olds on the turf.

“[Jockey Jeremy] Beasley hit her right-handed and I thought she was going to go over the inside rail,” Keen said. “It was a close call that day, too.”

Keen had a difficult time settling on a rider for this race. The trainer wanted someone with the experience to handle the filly’s peculiar temperament, but most of the top jockeys were not interested in a horse they thought was overmatched against a field of stakes and allowance winners.

“I’ve never really ridden him before,” Keen said of Stanton. “But I wanted somebody that I knew had a little cowboy in him and Terry has that.”

The lightly-raced filly paid $46 to the imaginative punters who foresaw her second career win. The $60,000 winner’s share of the purse raised Petionville Indeed’s career earnings to $79,950.

Runner-up Tiva’s Little Sis finished strongly to claim second, a neck ahead of favored Formal Miss, a graded stakes-placed shipper from South Florida. The public’s choice ranged up within striking distance, but lacked a punch in the lane.

“She might’ve got outrun, I don’t know,” said Paul Maxwell, trainer of Formal Miss. “She might’ve got a little tired. She ran well. I was disappointed but I’m pleased.”

The order of finish was completed by Prom Date, Beautiful Spy, Sea Bloom, Page Me Later, My Misty Princess, Clear in the West, Heart of the Cat, Lady Mallory and Run Sarah Run.

The Walmac was the second local stakes win for Keen, who led the Lone Star Park trainer standings in 1997 and 1998. It was the first local stakes win for Stanton, who grew up just minutes from the Grand Prairie racetrack.

“This win means a lot,” Stanton said. “This is where I was raised my entire life. My wife and family are here tonight, but my parents are at the lake. They’ll be getting a phone call real quick.”

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