Praia grabbed the lead with an eighth of mile left en route to win Saturday's $65,000 Keertana S. for fillies and mares at Churchill Downs, the first career stakes win for the 4-year-old daughter of Distorted Humor.
Praia becomes the 122nd career stakes winner for her sire, whose progeny have already eclipsed the $2.1 million earnings mark this year. He now has 13 stakes horses to his credit in 2014, four of those stakes winners.
Through most of the 11 furlong turf marathon, Praia was tucked in fourth along the inside under a patient ride by Chris Landeros. Just outside the quarter pole, Landeros gave Praia her cue, ultimately getting the lead outside the eighth pole and holding off a late charge by Gulsary (IRE) to win by a neck.
"It worked out perfect,” said Landeros. “I talked to (trainer) Kenny (McPeek) this morning and he said that she was the type of filly that seems to find her way in some trouble, so he wanted her forwardly placed today. I had a great trip, I was right behind the leaders and I found a seam at the top of the stretch and she split out and just took off. I stayed after her pretty good at the end and she gave me her all. I was happy we got it."
Praia covered the distance over firm turf in 2:16.92.
The victory was worth $39,720 to owner Julio Camargo's Haras Old Friends and improved Praia's earnings to $231,912 with a record of 3-5-0 in 14 starts.
Last year, Praia placed in the $173,400 Edgewood S., $113,900 Regret S. (G3) and $150,000 Virginia Oaks (G3).
Out of the Royal Academy mare Quero Quero, a Grade 2 winner, Praia was bred in Kentucky by Old Friends Inc.