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Last Full Measure springs upset

MADISON STAKES | PURSE: $300,000 | 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP | FILLIES | GRADE 1 | 7 FURLONGS

St. George Farm Racing's Last Full Measure, a winner in her only start at Keeneland, ran her record to two-for-two at the Kentucky racetrack with an upset victory by a neck in the $300,000 Madison Stakes April 13.

With Corey Nakatani riding for trainer Phil Oliver, Last Full Measure rallied from off the pace to collar front-running favorite Jamaican Smoke late, and then held off fast-closing Byrama, who finished second. Jamaican Smoke finished third.

The time for the seven furlongs on Polytrack was :1:23.32. Last Full Measure, a 5-year-old Kentucky-bred mare by Empire Maker out of the Slewvescent mare Lazy Slusan, was bred by St. George Farm.

Last Full Measure paid $37.60 to win in the field of 10. It was her first stakes victory.

The bay mare had to withstand a claim of foul by Joel Rosario, rider of Byrama, for alleged interference in the stretch. It was disallowed.

Last Full Measure won a Keeneland allowance race at 1 1/16 miles in October 2012. The mare had never raced at the Madison distance.

"I guess it just took me a while to figure out she wanted to sprint," Oliver said. "The race didn't seem like it was coming up that tough, so we just decided we'd take a shot, and it turned out pretty good."

"My trip was great," Nakatani said. "I pretty much just listened to what the trainer told me to do. He said she'll probably break with them, and she has never sprinted. I said, ' I'll just hop away, and hopefully they'll go fast enough and we'll come get the money right at the wire.' "

The fractions, set by Jamaican Smoke, were :22.33 for the opening quarter-mile and :45.23 for the half-mile. Dr. Diamonds Prize, who pushed the leader, dropped back on the far turn.

Last Full Measure has now won four of 11 starts. Nine of her races have been on turf, and two on the synthetic surface at Keeneland.