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Karelian Returns with Sea o’Erin Victory

Churchill Downs Communications | 08/06/2008 #

Richard Masson’s Karelian returned from an 11-month layoff to post an upset score in the $150,000 Sea o’Erin Handicap Saturday at Arlington Park.  James Graham rode the son of Bertrando to a three-quarter length victory in 1:36.37 for the mile over a turf course rated as “firm.”

“Rusty (trainer George Arnold) did a great training job,” said Graham. “I was a little worried that he was being a little aggressive early, but it played to his advantage and he finished up strong. He wouldn’t let the field go by him.”

Graham kept the 6-year-old gelding just off the pace set by longshot Voy Por Uno Mas, who led through fractions of 23.87 seconds, 47.84 seconds, 1:11.79 and 1:23.97 before fading in the final eighth of a mile.

The Sea o’Erin was the seventh win in 14 starts for Karelian, who picked up $87,000 for the victory to boost his bankroll to $285,458.

Yate’s Black Cat, ninth after a half mile, rallied five wide in the stretch to get up for second, a head in front of Demarcation.

“My horse ran a big race,” said Chris Emigh, who rode the runner-up.  “He broke perfect, got through, and got to running down the lane but couldn’t quite catch (Karelian).  I was really surprised.  (Karelian) had been off a year.  I had the favorite (Lewis Michael) turning for home.  I knew I’d beat him, but I was surprised to see (Karelian) keep going.  He was just better today.”

Even-money favorite Lewis Michael, coming off a nine-month layoff, ran fourth in the 10-horse field.

“Even though he lost the race I’m very excited,” said Lewis Michael’s jockey Rene Douglas.  “He kept trying to come back and he gave me 100 percent.  Twice he made a move so I know he was giving me his best.  I’m very happy he ran the way he did after such a long time away and I think today’s race will set up a race down the road for him.”

Voy Por Uno Mas, Pickapocket, Vanquisher, Therecomesatiger, Coragil Cat and Obi Wan Kenobi completed the order of finish.

Sent off at odds of more than 7-1, Karelian paid $16.60, $8 and $5.40.  Yate’s Black Cat returned $6.40 and $4.60.  Demarcation paid $7.20.

Earlier in the day, Martin Racing Stable & Carl Moore Management LLC’s Mr. Nightlinger led from start to finish to capture the afternoon’s undercard feature, the $54,800 Taylor’s Special Stakes, by 3 ¼ lengths under jockey Jamie Theriot.  The son of Indian Charlie covered the five furlongs over firm turf in 56.73 seconds and paid $4.60, $3.40 and $2.60.