Sondra Bender's homebred Foufa's Warrior wore down his rivals Remind and favored Lismore Knight in the stretch to register a mild upset and a course record in the $250,000 Kent Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds on the turf Sunday at Delaware Park.
With Ramon Dominguez riding, the Maryland-bred Jade Hunter gelding waited patiently in mid-pack before surging four wide in the stretch and going on to a 1/14-length triumph over Remind and jockey Jerry Bailey. Remind was a half-length clear of Lismore Knight, the 6-5 public choice who was looking for his third straight victory. The time for the 1 1/8-mile Kent was 1:47 2/5 on a firm course.
The Lawrence Murray-trained Foufa's Warrior lowered the previous record, which was set in 1997 by Royal Strand in the Kent Breeders' Cup, by three-fifths of a second.
Remind drew clear in the stretch but tired. Lismore Knight, ridden by John Velazquez, rallied on the outside a furlong from the wire, but did not sustain his challenge.
Foufa's Warrior ended a five-race loss streak this year with the victory. Seventh in the Preakness (gr. I) May 17, he was a well beaten fifth in the Jefferson Cup (gr. IIIT) at Churchill in his previous start on June 7. Earning $150,000 Sunday, he owns a 4-1-2 record in nine tries and a career bankroll of $313,008.
Sent off at 4-1 as the third choice in the seven-horse field, Foufa's Warrior paid $10.80, $6.20 and $2.40. Remind, the 2-1 second choice, returned $4.80 and $2.20. Lismore Knight showed for $2.10.
Lights On, a 24-1 shot ridden by Jeremy Rose, came form off the pace to register a one-length surprise in the $100,000 Lighthearted Handicap for fillies and mares.
The 4-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Saint Ballado, trained by Alan E. Goldberg for owner Jayeff B Stables, covered the six furlongs in 1:11 on a fast strip. Haunted Lass, with Velazquez riding, was second, a nose ahead of 8-5 favorite Spring Meadow and Dominguez.
Fuse It, the 5-2 second choice with Jerry Bailey riding, finished last in the eight-horse field after breaking slowly and checking in upper stretch.
Lights On , the longest shot on the board, returned a hefty $50.40, $23.20 and $7.20. Haunted Lass returned $8.60 and $4.20. Spring Meadow showed for $2.80. The $2 exacta was $352.60.