Sent off as the 2-1 favorite in the field of seven, the Wayne Catalano trainee tracked leader Mongolian Saturday in second place under leading Thistledown rider Hector Rosario Jr. through early fractions of :23.48 and :47.48. A length back after six furlongs in 1:11:48, the gelded son of Pulpit slowly wore down the pacesetter, passing him inside the eighth pole and nudging away to a one-length victory over Braveman in 1:43.80 for the 1 1/16-contest on the fast track.
Following Braveman across the wire were Handsome Tiger, Mongolian Saturday, Act of Madness, Silver Tongued, and Fiery Marco.
Title Contender returned $6, $3.80, and $3.40. Braveman returned $3.60 and $4.20, and Handsome Tiger paid $6 to show. The $2 exacta was good for $29.40.
A 3-year-old bred in Kentucky by Town & Country Farm out of the Roy mare Winter Garden, Title Contender ran in the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) last November at Santa Anita Park, finishing eighth of nine. He tried the CashCall Futurity (gr. I) after that but was last of 11.
He likewise ran unplaced in the Rebel Stakes (gr. II) this March and was most recently third in the allowance/optional claiming race at Churchill Downs June 28. He has won two of nine starts lifetime and has earned $114,842.