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Burmilla undefeated after catfight down the stretch at Churchill


Darley Stable's Burmilla remained undefeated today after a fierce stretch duel in the $52,500 featured allowance at Churchill Downs with jockey Rafael Bejarano, who kept the filly's nose in front at the wire. The  4-year-old chestnut broke a step slowly, but quickly joined the pace and battled for the lead through sizzling fractions of 22.3, 45.3, 56.4 and finishing the 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:02.4.

The Storm Cat daughter had been training over Keeneland's polytrack and was accompanied to Churchill Downs by assistant trainer Oliver Costello and Darley Flying Start student Liz Pathak.

"She was very impressive coming off a long layoff," said trainer Eoin Harty. "She fought every step of the way and finished just two ticks off the track record."

The race came nearly a year after her previous start at Belmont where she went wire to wire and won by six lengths in her second start as a sophomore. That race followed a 4 1/2 length debut maiden victory at Gulfstream in January of 2006. Harty said that she showed dramatic physical development since last year.

Burmilla was bred in Kentucky by ClassicStar and was purchased for $850,000 at Keeneland's 2004 September Yearling Sale. She is out of the Valid Appeal mare Nannerl.

Harty indicated that the talented filly will likely be pointed toward a stake at Saratoga and might possibly be joining the Godolphin team soon.

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