Ten Most Wanted returned to Hawthorne Saturday with a romping 6 3/4-length victory in the $250,000 National Jockey Club Handicap (gr. III).
Sent off at 1-5, Ten Most Wanted, with David Flores aboard for the first time, spotted pacesetter Flemish Cap a nine-length advantage on the backstretch before he began to cut into the edge with little urging on the home turn. By the time they hit the stretch, the 4-year-old son of Deputy Commander
, carrying top weight of 121 pounds, was completely in control and simply ridden out to the easiest of victories over five opponents.
The final time was 1:49 2/5 on a fast track. Ten Most Wanted, winning for the first time since September's Super Derby (gr. II) at Louisiana Downs for trainer Wally Dollase, paid $2.40, $2.10 and $2.10. Colonial Colony, who returned $3 and $2.10, was 4 1/4 lengths in front of New York Hero, whose show was $2.10.
Flemish Cap carved out an opening quarter of :23 2/5 and a half-mile in :46 4/5 before fading to last. New York Hero led briefly on the turn after six furlongs in 1:11 2/5 before being inhaled by Ten Most Wanted, who rallied three wide on the turn.
The victory was worth $150,000 to the partnership of James Chisholm, Michael Jarvis, Paul Reddam, et al, and increased Ten Most Wanted's career total to $1,718,460.
Ten Most Wanted emerged as a top 3-year-old last year after winning the Illinois Derby (gr. II) by four lengths in his only other start at Hawthorne. Coming off a fifth-place showing in the New Orleans Handicap (gr. II) at Fair Grounds Feb. 29, he improved to 5-3-1 in 13 lifetime starts.