Separato swept from last to first with a dazzling closing kick to post a convincing five-length win Saturday in the $100,000 Larry Riviello Presidents Cup, Philadelphia Park's major prep for the Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II). Separato, a son of Victory Gallop ridden by Jeremy Rose, covered the one-mile, 70-yard distance in 1:41 4/5 on a fast track. Trailing a field of ten onto the backstretch, Separato had plenty of pace to run at, with front running Judiths Wild Rush posting fractions of :22.1 and :45.2. Rose began to move with a little under a half mile to go and around the far turn, made it look like his rivals were standing still. "That was some burst, wasn't it," said Rose. Claimed by CJZ Racing Stable and trainer Tim Ritchey for $40,000 on June 22, the colt ran second in his first start off the claim and has now rattled off three consecutive wins. He broke his first allowance condition at Delaware by better than eight lengths and drubbed the field Saturday in his first stake. "When he first got him, he'd been sprinting," Rose said. "He decided to stretch him out right away and now he's just getting better with every start." Since being claimed, the Virginia-bred Separato has won three of four starts with earnings of $104,200.Second choice at post time, Separato paid $8.60, $4.40 and $3.20 while earning $60,000. Gadace's Khamseh returned $6.60 and $5.20. Favored Prince Joseph, a half-length behind the runner-up, was $2.80 to show.
The $750,000 Pennsylvania Derby is Sept. 6.(Chart, Equibase)