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Saint Leon Repeats in Wild Arlington Sprint

| Churchill Downs Communications | 07/06/2013 #
  • Saint Leon (inside) hold off the late rally of Hogy to earn a repeat victory in the Listed $100,000 Arlington Sprint on July 6.

Margaret Burlingham’s Saint Leon led from gate to wire to earn a repeat victory in the Listed $100,000 Arlington Sprint on Saturday at Arlington International Racecourse.  E. T. Baird rode the Michele Boyce-trained son of Stravinsky who scored by a head over a fast-closing Hogy in 1:03 flat for the 5½ furlongs over firm turf.

The 8-year-old gelding was able to get a quick break from the gate and avoid a plethora of trouble caused by Global Power, who broke sharply inward from the outside post in the field of nine causing interference to multiple horses.

“He broke great,” Baird said.  “He just really runs his own races.  You just want to sit and wait on him.  He pretty much gives you what he’s got and today he really fought for it.  They made him run, that’s for sure, from the 1/8-pole home.  He didn’t want to give it up.  His speed is just natural.  There are no secrets about it.  He just breaks out of there fast and likes to go fast.  If you leave him alone, he’s the type of horse who can show a rider how to ride if you pay attention to him.  He’ll give you the cues.”

Saint Leon led through fractions of 22.97 seconds, 46.16 and 57.28 en route to the final clocking.

Hogy, who chased the winner throughout, was one of those whose chances were compromised when Global Power broke inward, but recovered nicely and finished a clear second.

“(Global Power) broke through the gate and dropped me right out of there,” said Hogy’s rider Chris Emigh.  “Then, he got right in front of me.  I thought I was going to clip heels and go down.  But, he cleared in front of me pretty quick, and then I got good position.  My horse has got a good kick and I was really surprised that (the winner) kicked (too).  I thought I could outkick that horse.  I thought I had a really good chance.  He gave it to me, but it was not enough to get by that horse.  He ran his butt off.”

Global Power was third through the finish line but was disqualified and placed last.

“My horse broke the doors open,” Desormeaux said, though the replays didn’t play that out. “My gate guy was trying to hold me, because he opened the doors before the field was turned loose. So it snapped him to the left.”

After the disqualification, the official order of finish was Saint Leon, Hogy, Chamberlain Bridge, Cherokee Lord, Bet Seattle, Yankee Injunuity, Que Posse and Batito.

The Arlington Sprint was the second victory in as many starts this year for Saint Leon, who battled back from multiple injuries after being claimed for $5,000 and then claimed back by Burlingham. The $57,600 winner’s share boosted his bankroll to $302,399.

Sent off as the 13-10 favorite, Saint Leon paid $4.60, $3 and $2.40.  Hogy returned $3.80, and $3.  Chamberlain Bridge paid $3.