Updated on 09/18/2011 12:34AM

Aragorn shatters course record in Read


Aragorn, in an electrifying performance, turned on the afterburners in the stretch run en route to a course record in the Grade 1, $400,000 on Sunday at Del Mar.

Aragorn ($5) was sent off the favorite based on his victory last out in the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile at Hollywood Park, but few could have anticipated just how dominant he would be in the Eddie Read. Aragorn bounded clear to win by four lengths in 1:44.79 for 1 1/8 miles on the firm turf, besting the previous course mark - Willow O Wisp's 1:45.85 in last year's Del Mar Derby - by more than one second.

Sweet Return beat Silent Name by a half-length for second. Fourty Niners Son finished fourth, but was moved back to fifth after being disqualified for what the stewards deemed interference in the stretch run. Quasimodo was moved up to fourth. Hendrix was sixth, and Fast and Furious trailed.

Sweet Return and Silent Name - whose jockey, Victor Espinoza, dropped his whip a furlong into the race - sped off and set quick fractions of 23.10 seconds for the opening quarter-mile, 45.75 seconds for a half-mile, and 1:09.51 for six furlongs. Aragorn settled into a perfect spot, about five lengths behind that pair, and well in front of the other four runners.

Heading into the lane, Aragorn flew past Sweet Return and Silent Name. He completed a mile in 1:33.54, and ripped through the final furlong in a torrid 11.25 seconds.

Aragorn, 4, has now won four times in 11 starts. He has three wins and three seconds since arriving from Great Britain. Neil Drysdale trains Aragorn for the Ballygallon Stud of Belinda and Roy Strudwick.

* Earlier in the day, River's Prayer returned from a nine-month layoff to score a front-running victory in the Fleet Treat Stakes for California-bred 3-year-old fillies. River's Prayer ($12.80) held off Getback Time to win by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:22.96 for seven furlongs on the fast main track.