Verve's Tale, a 3-year-old daughter of Tale of Ekati making her first start against winners, turned in an incredibly game performance to win Saturday's $250,000 Comely S. (G3) by a neck over multiple graded stakes winner Lewis Bay.
Tale of Ekati now has six stakes winners this year, including Group 2 winner Tale of Angel and Tale for Ruby, winner of last week's $100,000 Safely Kept S. The Darby Dan stallion will stand for a fee of $7,500 stands and nurses in 2017.
After breaking fairly well from her inside post, Verve's Tale was pinched back going into the first turn and was sent four wide around the bend by jockey Paco Lopez. Lopez held his spot in fourth down the backstretch, then began to chase Lewis Bay around the final turn when that filly made the lead.
In the stretch, Lewis Bay looked to be a winner with less than a furlong to run, but Verve's Tale dug down deep to collar her foe in the final few strides. The final time for the 1 1/8-miles was 1:51.89.
"I wasn't quite sure she was where she should be for these type of horses, but she was doing so well, I couldn't hold her down, so I put her in there," said a happy trainer BarclayTagg. "She loves to run. She's nice and sound.
"We'll see how she comes out of this," he added. "We'll take the (her) to Florida next week and see how she goes and what's there. I haven't thought that far ahead yet."
Tale of Verve is a Charles Fipke homebred who had some tough trips in her maiden efforts. She is now 2-5-2 in nine starts and has earned $268,100. Out of Verve, Tale of Verve is a full sister to Fipke's Tale of Verve, who was second to American Pharoah in the 2015 Preakness S. (G1).