Saint Marden, with Jerry Bailey up, takes the Discovery Wednesday at Aqueduct.

Saint Marden, with Jerry Bailey up, takes the Discovery Wednesday at Aqueduct.

AP-NYRA/Adam Coglianese

Saint Marden Leads Discovery Parade

Saint Marden picked up a couple of new believers Wednesday in Aqueduct's fall opening day $114,000 Discovery Handicap (gr. III) for 3-year-olds.

The 3-5 favorite in a field of 10, Saint Marden covered the 1 1/8 mile on a fast track in 1:49.13, defeating Regency Park by 1 1/2 lengths. No Parole closed from last to finish third.

Saint Marden, rated in fourth early by jockey Jerry Bailey, came on the outside of the leaders on the final turn to grab the lead. Regency Park battled the winner through the stretch before giving in.

Michael Matz trains the chestnut son of Saint Ballado.

"We're going to wait for Florida and give him a little break right now," said Matz. "I think this can be a real good horse as
a 4-year-old."

Eighth in the Travers, beaten by 37 lengths in the mud, Saint Marden was coming off of an 8 1/2-length romp in allowance race at Belmont Park Sept. 19.

"I think he's that class of horse for the Travers," Matz said. "Maybe it was a little bit too soon and certainly the slop didn't help. I've also learned some more things about him and I guess these are things that go along with experience - just some little things in bringing him up to a race."

"He wasn't as impressive today as a few of the other times I've ridden him, but it's the end of a long year," said Bailey. "His class got him through this. I think he'll be a decent horse next year."

Bailey previously won the Discovery Handicap in 1983 with Country Pine. It was one of the earliest NYRA stakes victories in his 20-plus year New York career.

A chestnut Florida-bred colt by Saint Ballado, out of The Administrator (Afleet), Saint Marden earned $68,400 for owners Martin Schwartz and Dennis Drazin. He is now 4-1-1 from seven starts with earnings of $159,800. He was a $475,000 Fasig-Tipton August 2000 purchase.

Saint Marden paid $3.40 $2.70 and $2.30. Regency Park returned $7.10 and $5.80. No Parole paid $4.

(Chart, Equibase)