Making her first start since finishing fifth in the Santa Anita Derby on April 8, Surfside had to settle for second in the $82,425 Raven Run Stakes Wednesday at Keeneland.
Trying to get ready for a possible start in the Breeders' Cup Distaff on Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs, the 3-year-old Seattle Slew filly battled successfully through fast fractions with even-money favorite Roxelana (21 2/5, 43 2/5 and 1:08 1/5) but was unable to hold off 8-1 shot Darling My Darling.
At the finish, Darling My Darling had 1 1/4 lengths on Surfside, a multiple-graded stakes winner, and completed the seven furlongs in a stakes-record 1:20 4/5.
Wayne Lukas, who trains Surfside for Bill Young's Overbrook Farm, was enthused with her performance.
"If someone told me they would go 1:08 and change for six furlongs, I would have said, 'No way,' " Lukas said. "It was a hell of an effort coming off the layoff. This race was supposed to put us right where we want to be. The plan going in was to go on to the Breeders' Cup, and that's the plan coming out. I'll be married to her for the next three weeks and she will be ready."
Jockey Pat Day, who has been aboard for all seven of Surfside's wins, was also happy with the race.
"I thought she ran tremendous," he said. "To run the fractions that she did under the pressure that she had, it was just too much to ask her to hold off the other filly in her first start back."
Owned by Debby Oxley, trained by John Ward and ridden by Mike Smith, Darling My Darling paid $18.60 after winning for the third time in eight starts. The Breeders' Cup Distaff is not in her plans.
Roxelana, running for the first time since finishing third in the Acorn at Belmont Park on June 9, wound up fourth. It was her first defeat in a race less than a mile.
Kumari Continent, who won the Hollywood Oaks earlier this year, has been retired after breaking her right hind leg while running last in the Lady's Secret Breeders' Cup Handicap on Monday.
Trained by Paco Gonzalez for owners Trudy McCaffery and John Toffan, Kumari Continent, a 3-year-old daughter of Kris S., finished her career with three victories in nine starts.
Captain Steve and Tiznow, who finished 1-2 in the Swaps Stakes at Hollywood Park the last time they met, are expected to meet again in the $500,000 Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap on Sunday, along with Sir Bear, Euchre, Big Ten and Bagshot. . . . Kona Gold will have his prep for the Breeders' Cup Sprint when he takes on possibly as few as three rivals in the $200,000 Ancient Title Breeders' Cup Handicap on Saturday. Idle since winning the Bing Crosby at Del Mar this summer, Kona Gold, who worked three furlongs in 35 3/5 on Wednesday morning, will carry topweight of 124 pounds in the six-furlong Ancient Title.