Mash One Defends Title in Clement Hirsch

Mash One, sidelined since winning the Oak Tree Turf Championship Handicap (gr. IT) at Santa Anita last October, returned to successfully defend his title in the race now known as the Clement L. Hirsch Memorial Turf Championship (gr. IT). Mash One, a 6-year-old Chilean-bred, completed the 1 1/4 miles in 2:00.67 under jockey David Flores.

Over firm turf, Mash One tracked early leader Asidero from a comfortable stalking spot as the latter completed fractions of :49.16 and 1:13.93. Mash One moved up to challenge on the second turn and surged to the lead in the stretch. Boatman, moving well along the inside in the stretch, was forced to angle out for running room and closed well to finish second, 1 1/4 lengths behind the winner as Robert Frankel-trained horses swept the top two finishing positions. Asidero was third, followed by Self Feeder, Alvo Certo, and Prairieton.

Mash One (Mashkour--Exing, by Exceller) earned $180,000 of the $300,000 purse for owners Amerman Racing and Palumbo. The win in the last year's Oak Tree Turf Championship was his first graded stakes win in the United States. In his native Chile, he won the Gran Clasico Coronacion-Falabella (Chi-II) in 1997 before winning the Chilean Derby (Chi-I) via the disqualification of the original winner, Sidon. Mash One was bred by Haras Santa Eladia and has won seven of 17 career races.

Mash One paid $7.80, $4.20, and $2.80. Boatman returned $3.80 and $2.40. Asidero was worth $2.40 to show. The $1 exacta completed by Frankel-trained horses paid $13.30. (Chart, Equibase)