Awesome Time Has a Blast in Richards Stakes

Robert V. Lapenta's Awesome Time, the second-longest shot in the field of eight at odds of 20-1, nipped Christine's Outlaw, by a nose to win the $250,000 Leonard Richards Stakes (gr. III) Saturday at Delaware Park.

Awesome Time, ridden by Anthony S. Black for trainer Nick Zito, snatched the lead from Ironton on the turn for home and engaged with Christine's Outlaw and Ramon Dominguez through the entire stretch run, getting the edge on the final jump. Cherokee's Boy, who was far back early, came on strongly for jockey Ryan Fogelsonger and had aim on the frontrunners, but tired late and settled for third. The time for the 1 1/16-mile test for 3-year-olds was 1:43 1/5 on a fast track.

Go Rockin' Robin, the 3-2 favorite, finished fourth.

The Kentucky-bred bay colt by Awesome Again was coming off a last-place finish, beaten by 24 lengths, in the Withers (gr. III) at Aqueduct on May 3. Zito took blinkers off for the Richards and Awesome Time was able to settle in third down the backstretch.

Awesome Time, who banked $150,000 for the victory, more than doubling his career earnings to $226,210, won for the third time in eight races. The victory was his first in a graded stakes contest.

Under showering skies, Gang, Mt. Carson, Lone Star Sky and Region of Merit were scratched, taking much of the luster out of the heat, which was one leg of the NTRA Pick 3 contest.

Awesome Again paid $42.60, $19.20 and $7. Christine's Outlaw returned $11.60 and $5.80. Cherokee's Boy showed for $4. The $2 exacta was worth $463.

(Chart, Equibase)