LOUISVILLE — Like many who come to Churchill Downs, there is something about the Twin Spires Miss Isella just finds inspiring.
Miss Isella, winner of the Grade II Falls City Handicap at Churchill this past November, again showed her affinity for the Louisville oval when she overtook pacesetter One Caroline in a stirring stretch battle to win the Grade II Louisville Distaff by three quarters of a length on Friday.
With Edgar Prado up, the previously unbeaten One Caroline jumped out to an open-length advantage on the front end as she set fractions of :23.96 and :47.65.
One Caroline left an opening along the rail, however, and jockey Calvin Borel pounced, guiding Miss Isella along the inside once they reached the head of the lane.
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The two fillies then matched strides down the stretch with Miss Isella edging clear late to win the 11⁄16-mile race in 1:42.75.
"She's a totally different filly on this track," Borel said. "She's an incredible filly on this track."
Zenyatta, the undefeated champion older female of 2008, was slated to make her season debut in the Louisville Distaff but was scratched due to an off track.
The Louisville Distaff was one of four graded stakes on the undercard of the Kentucky Oaks.
The Grade III Aegon Turf Sprint saw Chamberlain Bridge hold off Cannonball to win his first graded stakes victory in 18 career starts.
Bullsbay fought back against Cool Coal Man to take the Grade III Alysheba Stakes. Orthodox took the Grade III American Turf for his first graded stakes triumph.
The American Turf was marred when favored Stormalory was euthanized after pulling up on the backstretch.
Stormalory, who won the Grade III Transylvania Stakes at the Keeneland Spring Meet, suffered a condylar sesamoid fracture, a medial sesamoid fracture and a fracture in the pastern.