European shippers Pine Dance and Hymn, both racing on Lasix for the first time, swept the top two spots of the $194,000 American Derby (gr. IIT) at Arlington International Sunday. Under Eddie Ahern, Pine Dancer stopped the timer in 1:55.46 after 1 3/16 miles run over firm turf. Pine Dancer, who had raced exclusively in Ireland prior to Sunday, paid $17.20 and $5.40. Hymn returned $4.40 to place while making his first start outside of England. The winning exacta was worth $49.40. With a four-horse field, there was no show wagering.
Hymn and Del Mar Show dueled for the lead around the first turn. The short field raced in a tight bunch down the backstretch and into the second turn. On the turn, Boyum swung three-wide while Pine Dance moved up on the inside. As they straightened for home, Hymn edged off the rail leaving room for Pine Dance to complete his rally. Pine Dance spurted away from the field, winning by 1 1/2 lengths at the wire. Hymn finished second, a neck in front of Del Mar Show. Boyum came home fourth.
Pine Dance (Pine Bluff--Dancing Affair, by Dancing Champ) earned $120,000 for the win, his third in seven starts. He is trained by Dermot Weld for owners Highland Farms, Peter Wetzel, and Five Star Racing. The 3-year-old bay colt was bred in Kentucky by Kevin Pipes.
"I've won on every track in America that I've sent a horse to except Arlington, so I had to rectify it. It's the best turf track in America," said Weld. "We hope to have him for the Secretariat (gr. IT). That's the next logical step for him." The $400,000 Secretariat is a 1 1/4-mile turf race for 3-year-olds at Arlington to be run August 19. (Chart, Equibase)