Bright Thought, a scintillating 3 1/4-length winner of the $150,000 San Luis Rey Stakes (gr. IIT) (VIDEO) going 1 1/2 miles on turf March 16, has established a new world record time of 2:22.72, according to the "American Racing Manual," official record keeper for American racing. The time eclipsed Hawkster's record of 2:22.80, established over the same course at Santa Anita Park on Oct. 14, 1989.
Originally recognized as a new stakes and track record, recognition of Bright Thought's final time as a world record was delayed due to the fact the initial three eighths of a mile in the San Luis Rey is run downhill. A review of previous record holders at the distance led to Sunday's broader acknowledgment.
Santa Anita's statistical record keeper, morning line maker Jon White noted: "The 2012 American Racing Manual, and every Racing Manual going back for many years, has listed Hawkster as the world record holder for a mile and one half. The difference between world records and American records, are that a world record is the fastest time under any conditions, on any surface."
Bright Thought, who is trained by Jorge Gutierrez and was ridden by Victor Espinoza, is a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred colt by the Sunday Silence stallion Hat Trick . He was bred in-part by Alex Venneri and is owned by Venneri and Marjorie Dye.
The San Luis Rey victory was the third win a row for the rising star Bright Thought, who was making his graded stakes debut.