Chindi beat Smolderin Heart by 1 1/2 lengths in the $113,700 Ack Ack Handicap (gr. III) for 3-year-olds and older Sunday on opening day of the fall meet at Churchill Downs. The 6-year-old gelded son of El Prado, with Tim Doocy aboard, covered the 7 1/2 furlongs on a fast track in 1:29.30 and paid $14.40, $6.40 and $3.60. The winning exacta was worth $140.

Smolderin Heart took the lead on the far turn before tiring late and paid $17.40 and $8.20. Millencolin finished another two lengths back and paid $3.60. Unloosened, pacesetter Number One Sheikh, Bright Valour, Dixieland Sham, Captain Countdown, Run Johnny, and Desert Air completed the order of finish.

Owned by Cres Ran LLC, Chindi won for the fourth time in 10 starts this year and earned $70,494 to increase his lifetime earnings to $610,599. The win improved his career record to 12 wins from 40 starts. Chindi finished third in the 1998 Ack Ack, behind winner Distorted Humor and runner-up Crafty Friend. Earlier this year the Steve Hobby-trained horse won the $100,000 Taylors Special Handicap.

"He's just one of those horses that has one run and you either get there or you don't," said Doocy. "He stumbled a bit at the gate and got a ways out of it. I didn't want to ride him and get him into it too early." (Chart, Equibase)

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