Competitive Edge preserved his perfect record May 2 despite time on the sidelines, charging to victory in the $200,000 Pat Day Mile (gr. III) at Churchill Downs to win in stakes-record time while making it four in a row for owners Nancy Favreau, Kathy Psoinos, and Michael Tabor (VIDEO).
The 3-year-old son of 2010 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Super Saver suffered a hairline fracture to his left front after winning the Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) last September off his debut maiden score, and was away from the races until coming back to win the $60,000 Tamarac Stakes March 27 at Gulfstream Park.
In his return to graded company in the mile test May 2 for trainer Todd Pletcher, Competitive Edge broke alertly from post 6 in a field of eight and settled into a good tracking position second and to the outside of frontrunner Hillbilly Royalty.
Hillbilly Royalty set the pace through a quarter-mile in :23.15 and a solid half-mile in :45.86, but as they rounded the turn for home jockey John Velazquez sent Competitive Edge on his way.
The 6-5 choice responded by taking the lead as three-quarters went in 1:10.12, and drew off through seven-eighths in 1:21.81 to finish 4 1/2 lengths ahead in a final time of 1:34.18 on a fast track. That time broke the stakes record of 1:34.40 established in 1969 by Ack Ack.
"That's what we were looking for," Velazquez said. "We were looking for something fast enough to where I didn't have to be in his mouth, and he rated perfectly, so it was perfect. All went according to plan."
"He was nice and relaxed," said Pain and Misery's jockey, Julien Leparoux. "I stayed out of trouble and we made a big late run (but) we were second-best today."
Competitive Edge returned $4.60, $3.80, and $2.60, while Pain and Misery paid $16 and $6.40. Gimme Da Lute brought $3.40, as Lord Nelson , The Truth Or Else, Hillbilly Royalty, Where's the Moon, and the filly Peace and War completed the order of finish.
"I thought that was very impressive, especially for his first time going a straight mile," said Pletcher, who won his second edition of the race after taking it in 2013 with Forty Tales. "Johnny said it was pretty straightforward. The scary thing is that as impressive as that was, I think there is more in the tank."
Bred in Kentucky by WinStar Farm out of the Cape Town mare Magdalena's Chase, Competitive Edge improved his earnings to $417,280 with those four straight wins. He is the first foal for his dam, a multiple stakes-placed earner of $205,338 during a career that included nine victories in 32 starts.