Paid Up Subscriber stretches out, earns first stakes win in Fleur de Lis
Tracking two lengths behind Big Book, who set splits of :23.51 and :47.82, Paid Up Subscriber continued to bide her time as Ahh Chocolate grabbed a short lead after six furlongs in 1:12.39, with a headstrong Untapable also challenging. At the top of the stretch, Paid Up Subscriber split rivals under Ricardo Santana Jr. and drew off to win by three lengths over the late rallying Brooklynsway.
Owned by Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence, the Al Stall Jr. trainee completed 1 1/8 miles on a fast track in 1:48.44 and paid $14.60. Brooklynsway, at 9-1, was two lengths clear of third-place finisher Engaginglee, a 16-1 chance.
This was the seventh consecutive loss, and first in four starts at Churchill, for Untapable, who crossed the wire more than nine lengths behind Paid Up Subscriber. Winless since taking the 2014 Apple Blossom H. (G1), she was fourth in her title defense of the Oaklawn fixture when last seen April 15.
Ahh Chocolate was another disappointment. Last year's Falls City H. (G2) heroine entered off a victory in the Allaire duPont Distaff (G3) at Pimlico, but only beat Big Book to the wire.
Bred in Kentucky by Bruce Berenson and Laurie Berenson, Paid Up Subscriber was the second stakes winner sired by Candy Ride on Saturday's Churchill card, coming on the heels of Gun Runner's score in the Matt Winn (G3). The four-year-old filly was reared by the stakes-placed Shriek, a Street Cry half-sister to Grade 2 winner Stanley Park.
"She's supposed to do (two turns) on paper but you never know until you try," Stall said. "We just didn't want to ship anywhere to try it so we decided to stay home in a short field. Even though we knew that there were some tigers in here, the way she trained up to it really gave us a lot of confidence going in. I've had quite a few good horses but she's trained as any mare I've ever had in my life."
Paid Up Subscriber captured two of her first three starts, but was only fourth in the Prioress (G2) and ninth in the Raven Run (G2) last year. Third in her season bow at Keeneland in April, she rebounded to beat allowance foes going a mile at Churchill on May 6. She's earned $278,300.