Mill House's homebred Brilliant, under steady handling from Mark Guidry, rolled to a 6 1/2-length win in the $492,500 Kent Breeders' Cup (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds on the Delaware Park turf Saturday.
Brilliant more than atoned for his fifth-place showing in Saratoga's Hall of Fame (gr. II) in his last start for trainer Neil Howard. The son of War Chant
won the Jefferson Cup (gr. IIT) at Churchill Downs in his preceding start.
Even-money choice After Market had no response and finished last of 10 in the 1 1/8-mile Kent, which was postponed by bad weather a week ago.
Brilliant, who won in a time of 1:56 3/5 on soft going, was always in good position for Guidry, who replaced regular rider Robby Albarado in the Kent. The dark bay colt was in third, stalking Diabolical - who set a pace of :25 3/5, :51 2/5 and 1:16 1/5 - and Kip Deville, then launched his bid at the head of the stretch on the outside. He gained control to lead by 3 1/2 furlongs at the furlong marker and finished with interest.
"He handled the yielding turf well," said Guidry. "He broke good, and he put me in a good spot. We just sat in third and, into the last turn, he started pulling me up to the leaders. He is just a very nice horse. This is the first opportunity I had to ride him, and I appreciate Mr. Howard for giving me the opportunity."
Carnara, who rallied along the inside for Eibar Coa, finished a clear second by 2 3/4 lengths over 46-1 Sea of Trees, who came from last under Jeremy Rose.
Brilliant earned $300,000 for his fourth win in five starts on grass. He earned $300,000 for his fifth win overall in 10 lifetime starts. His bankroll now stands at $557,528.
The second choice, Brilliant paid $11, $5.40, and $4.20. Carnera, now graded stakes-placed in all three of his tries, returned $7.80 and $5, completing a $73 exacta. The trifecta with Sea of Trees ($13.40) was $1,415.80.
Spider Power came on for fourth, followed by Kip Deville, Precious Passion, Mercurius, Silent Roar, Diabolical, and After Market.
"When we got on the grass, I was a little worried because my horse has never run on a very soft course," said jockey Fernando Jara of After Market. "He had never been on a track like this. He just did not run today."
Act of God, Rock Lobster, Sir Classic Chris, and Yankee Master scratched.