NEW KENT — Larry Murray's specialty is training horses. Fortunately for his bank account, it isn't calling the races.
Then again, Murray was a little too close to the subject. His horse, London Lane, a 50-to-1 long shot, came from the rear to win the Grade II Colonial Turf Cup Saturday at Colonial Downs.
It was a late and stunning charge. The Maryland-bred gelding was in seventh place heading into the stretch. But running on the outside, London Lane went from seventh to second in 15 seconds. He then edged out Swift Warrior, which had led most of the way, just before the finish line.
Murray was on the telephone with Howard Bender, London Lane's owner, the whole time.
"I got on with him as they broke out of the gate and I described it until the far turn," Murray said. "I said, 'Ah, he's last, it doesn't look like he's going anywhere or getting anything.' And then I start screaming, and I'm sure he didn't know what I was saying.
"I gotta call him back when I'm done with you guys to make sure he knows we won it. I was out of control."
In winning his first graded race, and his sixth overall, London Lane paid $102.60 on a $2 bet to win, $24.40 to place, and $7.20 to show.
He began the day at 20-to-1. His winning time in the 1 3/16ths-mile race was 1 minute, 55.94 seconds.
Hyper finished second and Swift Warrior was third.
London Lane's only other 2013 race was an allowance at Pimlico, where he was sixth. But a big difference Saturday was his jockey — Horacio Karamanos, who won for the ninth time in 42 starts at Colonial Downs. He won the day's fourth race on Saintly Love.
"I'm feeling happy because that's what we're working for," Karamanos said. "You can't win every day, but to win a race like this, especially in Virginia, it's like my home. I win the (2007) Virginia Derby, I win this. I feel so good because to me, this is like my home."
Karamanos' 2007 Derby win came on a horse that was 37-to-1.
Murray wasn't surprised that London Lane ran a good race. He just didn't expect it to be that good.
"I'm not stunned," he said. "I thought if things went well, he could get a piece of it, and that's all I was hoping for. I didn't think we'd get the big piece. But I thought under the best of circumstances, he could get third.
"He's a real laid-back guy. Nothing bothers him. He was probably the calmest horse in the paddock. You almost worry he's too laid-back. This horse always tries, and that's a plus. And having Karamanos is a plus."