06/17/2013 4:16PM

Arlington Park: General Election still on course for American Derby

Four-Footed Fotos
Arlington Classic winner General Election was scratched from the Centaur at Indiana Downs on Saturday and will run July 13 in the American Derby.

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Arlington Classic winner General Election remains on track to start in the July 13 American Derby after being scratched from the $207,600 Centaur Stakes on Saturday at Indiana Downs.

Trainer Kellyn Gorder said General Election was entered in the Centaur, a one-mile grass race for 3-year-olds, “just to take a look” at the field’s complexion. Had Gorder seen what he judged an easy spot that would set up well for General Election, the colt would have run. Instead, General Election worked five furlongs in company Saturday at Keeneland, going in 1:01.

“We were just thinking about racing him instead of working him, but [Indiana Downs] can favor speed, and I didn’t know if there was enough speed in there to run at,” Gorder said. “He worked well. Joe Rocco came down to work him. His gallop-out was super.”

As Gorder guessed, the speedy Free World got an uncontested lead in the Centaur and never was challenged, winning by two lengths. Free World, who has blossomed this year, now has won both his grass starts, and Tom Amoss said the colt would remain on turf, but that no immediate plans had been set. Free World has yet to win beyond one mile, and the American Derby is run over 1 3/16 miles.

“I haven’t felt like distance is an issue for him up to this point,” Amoss said.