A five-furlong sprint for 2-year-olds, the $150,000 Kentucky was the feature on the 10-race program. A son of City Zip , Run Away and Hide remained perfect in two starts, as the bay colt broke his maiden April 18 on the Keeneland Polytrack for trainer Ronny Werner.
Ridden by Robby Albarado, Run Away and Hide stopped the clock in :57.56 on a fast main track. Garden District, under John Velazquez, closed well in the late going to take second, 2 ½ lengths in front of Final Judgement. Merkel, who led coming out of the turn, tired for fourth.
Trained by Steve Asmussen, Merkel broke from the rail and sprinted to the early lead. With Shaun Bridgmohan aboard, the Forest Wildcatcolt blistered the opening quarter-mile in :21.71 and ran a half-mile in :44.87. Run Away and Hide tracked a half-length back, putting himself in perfect position for the stretch drive.
Once they straightened away, Run Away and Hide had no problem going by the pacesetter. Although drifting in during mid-stretch, he had more than enough to hold off a mild rally from Garden District.
“He had a great trip. He’s a very nice horse, Albarado said. "Ronny’s done a great job with him. When you’re going five-eighths, there really isn’t much to it. Just go fast.”
Werner said: “It worked out great. The horses scratching on the outside helped out a bit. When you’re on the outside and can dictate the pace, you can do what you want to do.
"He’s definitely going to get some time off, because we wheeled him back in only two weeks to run here. I’d say you won’t see him again for probably for a couple months.”
Out of the Runaway Groom mare Jilted, Run Away and Hide is a homebred of Ron Kirk, John Bates, and Michael Riordan. He was bred in Kentucky.
Going off as the 3-2 favorite, Run Away and Hide returned $5.20, $3.20 and $2.80. The exacta (6-3) paid $17.40, while the trrifecta (6-3-4) was worth $99.