Undefeated Sorcerer's Stone took a big step toward a start in the Bessemer Trust Juvenile (gr. I) next month with a scintillating victory in the $198,500 Arlington-Washington Breeders' Cup Futurity (gr. III) on closing day at Arlington Park Sunday.
The Patrick Byrne-trained 2-year-old son of Gulch
-Magical Holiday (by Slew o' Gold) won his third straight for owner Robert H. Sheppard while making his initial graded stakes start and his first try beyond 5 1/2 furlongs.
"He's a real nice 2-year-old right now," said Byrne. "He was a little green down the lane but he was still running at the same time. I couldn't be any happier. It sets up perfectly this year with the Breeders' Cup being at Belmont where it's a one-turn mile and a sixteenth. So we didn't feel a rush to go two turns with him, though I think he'll be a better two-turn horse."
With challengers on all sides as they came off the turn in the one-turn mile event, jockey Mark Guidry asked the good-looking dark bay for his run and Sorcerer's Stone kicked on to snatch the lead in upper stretch. By the eighth pole, he was in complete command and won as much the best by 8 1/2 lengths in a stakes record time of 1:35.
"He's a very gutsy little horse," Guidry said.
Charley Tango, who has two wins in as many starts at Arlington in his brief career, ran on for second with Jesse Campbell aboard. Red Raymond, with John McKee, finished third, another 1 1/4 length behind.
Grand Survival, a son of Grand Slam
who was made the 11-10 favorite off an impressive maiden debut victory at Saratoga Aug. 6, was never a factor and finished seventh for jockey Gary Stevens.
Sorcerer's Stone defeated Private Vow, who won the Futurity (gr. II) at Belmont Park Saturday, in his debut race by a half-length going 4 1/2 furlongs at Churchill Downs July 3. The colt returned to win the 5 1/2-furlong Honest Pleasure at Arlington July 31. Sunday's win pushed the Kentucky bred's earnings to $177,645.
The third choice in the field of nine, the winner paid $12, $5.80, and $4. Charley Tango, a son of Maria's Mon
, returned $7.80 and $5 and was part of a $61.20 exacta. Red Raymond, who led on the turn for home before falling back, was $3 to show.
Mr. Pinstripe, Broadway Ridge, Mondavi, Grand Survival, Brunzer, and Cool Valley Cowboy completed the order of finish.
Gaines-Gentry Thoroughbreds bred Sorcerer's Stone, who was purchased privately.