11/05/2010 3:47PM

Apart battles way to Ack Ack victory

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Apart got some terrific karma going for the team that would try to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic on Saturday when he edged away to a hard-fought victory in the 18th running of the Grade 3, $108,600 Ack Ack Handicap, the main undercard event leading into the six Friday Breeders’ Cup events at Churchill Downs.

Apart represents the same team that was scheduled to have Blame as the second choice in the BC Classic – jockey Garrett Gomez, trainer Al Stall Jr., and owner-breeder Adele Dilschneider, who partners with Claiborne Farm in Blame. Coming off a victory in the Grade 2 Super Derby, Apart was winning for the third straight time, and fourth in seven overall starts, when he finally got the best of Demarcation in the final furlong of the 1 1/16-mile Ack Ack.

Apart, last early, rallied to finish in 1:43.79 over a fast track and returned $4.80 as the favorite.

“Garrett wanted to put him to sleep, and obviously he did a very good job,” said Stall.

Demarcation, ridden by Calvin Borel, finished second, three-quarters of a length behind the winner and another two lengths before Colizeo in a field of five. Jackson Bend, the early leader, faded to fourth, with longshot Silver Edition bringing up the rear. Stream Cat was an early scratch.

Apart, a 3-year-old by Flatter, could run back at Churchill in the Nov. 26 Clark Handicap, which Blame won last fall at 3.

“This colt’s a nice colt,” said Gomez. “I can’t wait until next year with him.”

Earlier Friday, Noble’s Promise ($6) made a successful return to action when getting a good trip under Julien Leparoux to win the $87,700 Jimmy V., an overnight stakes for 3-year-olds.

In upper stretch, Close to the Edge wrested the lead from Bulldogger, the 19-10 favorite, but was no match late for Noble’s Promise, who went on to win by 2 1/4 lengths over late-closing Backtalk.

Noble’s Promise, trained by Ken McPeek, finished fifth in the Kentucky Derby, then was fifth in a Group 1 grass race at Royal Ascot in June before his Friday return.