The $100,000 Hirsch Jacobs Stakes (gr. III) Saturday at Pimlico Race Course turned into a one-horse race at the top of the stretch when front-running Songster opened his lead and blew the rest away in the six-furlong test for 3-year-olds.
Owned by Darley Stable, trained by Tom Albertrani, and ridden by Edgar Prado, Songster set the pace through fractions of :22.82 for the quarter-mile, :45.88 for the half-mile, and :57.68 for five furlongs. He won by 10 lengths in 1:09.72 on a fast track, only three-fifths of a second off the track record set by Northern Wolf in 1990.
The black colt paid $3.20, $2.60 and $2.10 as the heavy favorite in the field of six.
Valid Brush ($5.80, $3.60) rallied for second, a nose in front of Urban Guy ($3), who made a bid for the lead on the far turn and held for third.
"That was impressive--very impressive," Albertrani said. "He was training a little better going into this race than the Bay Shore. Cutting back in distance wasn't going to be a problem. He has got a lot of speed, so weren't concerned about that at all."
"There was plenty left," Prado said. "He came back like he didn't even run."
Florida-bred Songster, by Songandaprayer
out of the French Deputy mare Peppy Lapeau, now has two wins and two seconds in four career starts. In his last start, Songster finished second, nine lengths behind Too Much Bling in the seven-furlong Bay Shore Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct. He entered the Hirsch Jacobs off a few solid works at his Belmont Park base.
"He was training a little better going into this race than the Bay Shore," Albertrani said. "Cutting back in distance wasn't going to be a problem. He's got a lot of speed, so we weren't concerned about that at all."
The $60,000 winner's share more than doubled Songster's previous earnings to $115,800.
Pagan Moon finished fourth, followed by Mike'sgoodandtough and We Miss You Nicko. My Dynomite and Rainbow Inthestorm scratched.