08/30/2008 12:00AM

Adriano turns back longshot in Kent


Adriano asserted his class in late stretch, outfinishing the 53-1 Roman Tiger by a half-length under jockey Kent Desormeaux to capture Saturday's $501,500 Kent Stakes on the turf at Delaware Park.

Earlier this year, Adriano won the Grade 2 Lane's End Stakes over the Polytrack at Turfway Park before finishing far back following an eventful trip in the Kentucky Derby.

But Adriano always gave the impression his best days would come on grass, a notion he verified with his performance in the Grade 3 Kent.

Adriano was content to settle nearly a dozen lengths off the early pace of Seeyouinthecity, who set fractions of 24.60 seconds, 48.75, and 1:13.61 over the firm course. Seeyouinthecity, a 23-1 outsider, put away his early pursuers turning for home and appeared to be in total control of the race, but began to shorten stride badly leaving the eighth pole.

Roman Tiger, whose limited experience included a third-place finish in Monmouth Park's Jersey Derby four weeks earlier, overtook the tiring leader to gain the lead between calls at midstretch. By that time, however, Adriano was in full stride down the middle of the course, and his momentum easily carried him past Roman Tiger in the final 40 yards. Mr. Maccool, forwardly placed throughout, finished another half-length back in third.

Deal Making, the somewhat surprising 9-5 favorite, was never a serious factor while finishing sixth in the scratch-reduced field of 10 3-year-olds.

Adriano, who was transferred to trainer Bill Mott's barn by owner Donald Adam earlier this summer, completed 1 1/8 miles in 1:52.54 and paid $6.80.

* Seattle Smooth left little doubt who was best in the $100,000 Go for Wand Stakes for 3-year-old fillies. Despite drifting wide while launching her bid entering the stretch, Seattle Smooth readily drew away to an impressive 7 1/4-length decision over My Main Starr. The runner-up, the longest price on the board at 29-1, finished three-quarters of a length before My Heavenly Sign, who went postward as the 8-5 second choice along with stablemate Maren's Meadow.

The favored Seattle Smooth ($5), a daughter of Quiet American, was ridden to victory by Ramon Dominguez for trainer Anthony Dutrow.