A double disqualification gave Live Oak Plantation's third-place finisher Seeking Slew victory in the $500,000 Kent Breeders' Cup (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds Saturday when the first two finishers were disqualified for interference in the stretch on the Delaware Park turf.
Touched by Madness, under left-handed whipping from jockey Frankie Pennington in deep stretch, bore outward a couple of times, taking out Spring House and Seeking Slew as they approached the wire. Touched by Madness won by a half-length but was placed fourth by the Delaware stewards.
For a separate incident, Spring House, second under the wire for Aaron Gryder, was disqualified to third. Jockey Patrick Valenzuela, aboard 11-10 favorite Chattahoochee War and making a belated rally, was forced to check severely in mid-stretch when impeded by Spring House, who banged with Seeking Slew while between rivals.
Stewards moved Chattahoochee War, who went on to finish fourth, up to second.
"Around the last turn, the horse in front looked like he was trying get out pretty good," said Valenzuela, referring to Touched by Madness. "He pushed the horse out in front of me at the five-sixteenth pole. Then entering the stretch I started to make my move on the outside of him and then three horses just ducked out in front of me at about the eighth pole. I do not know if I would have won, but I think I would have been a lot closer."
Bill Mott trains the winning Seeking Slew, who was ridden by Ramon Dominguez. Seeking Slew, making his stakes debut, raised his career record to two wins from three starts with earnings of $326,850.
Seeking Slew was forwardly placed as the outsider Touched by Madness set a tepid pace in the 1 1/8-mile event. Racing on the outside of the first two finishers, he took the worst of it in both incidents but was right with Touched by Madness and Spring House at the end, finishing a head behind the runner-up.
The final time was 1:47 1/5 on firm going.
Touched by Madness led all the way with fractions of :24, :48, 1:11 and 1:35.
The lightly raced Seeking Slew is a dark bay homebred colt by Seeking the Gold
out of the stakes-winning Borodislew (Seattle Slew).
He paid $14.80, $5.20, and $4.80, combining with the heavy favorite Chattahoochee War ($3.20, $3) for a $44.20 exacta. Spring House was $3.80 to show.
Touched by Madness was followed in official order by Holy Ground, Crown Point, Learning, Wallstreet Scandal, Gray Suitor, El Viaje, and Mighty Mecke. Killenaule, Call My Bluff, and Interpatation were scratched.