09/08/2012 10:01PM

Arlington Park: Gold Edge rallies to win the Lassie and stay unbeaten

Four Footed Fotos
Gold Edge, outside, wins the Arlington-Washington Lassie under Chris Emigh, edging La Song (between horses) and Dancinginthecircle.

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - In general, bettors playing the Grade 3, $150,000 Arlington-Washington Lassie Stakes on Saturday looked right past Gold Edge's 2-2 record. They ignored her three-quarters length win in the Lisa M, the local prep for the Lassie, and directed their fire at less proven maiden winners like Pappascat, Custody, and Flying Rapunzel. Gold Edge had been the 8-5 chalk when she won the Lisa M, but somehow paid $23.40 in the Lassie after surging late to run past La Song, who had set a strong pace and was beaten a neck. La Song barely held second, winning by a nose from Dancinginthecircle, who rallied well along the inside and ran an encouraging race for a second-time starter.

Chris Emigh, for whom graded stakes opportunities don't often come these days, rode the winner for the second race in a row, and Emigh gave her a smart trip. Breaking on top, Emigh, as he had discussed with trainer Lon Wiggins, eased Gold Edge back off a hot pace (45.65 seconds for the opening half-mile) and waited for the stretch to let his filly show her best. La Song, who had won a $50,000 maiden-claimer in her most recent start, was resolute despite the demanding pace, staying on well until the final 50 yards, when fatigue finally set in. Gold Edge maintained a steady pace, and reaching hard for the wire under strong encouragement, ran down La Song just in time.

"She's a filly that tries really, really hard, and you just can't give up on her," said Emigh.

Wiggins, who trains Gold Edge for owner Dolphus Morrison, said the Lassie was the biggest win of his training career, and Gold Edge has required work. A temperamental sort, Gold Edge acted up in the paddock before the Lisa M, but she had since been schooled several times and was on her best behavior Saturday.

Gold Edge, a daughter of Eddington, was timed in 1:37.96 for one mile. Wiggins said he wasn't sure where she would start next although the Alcibiades at Keeneland will be considered.

American Sugar, ridden by Seth Martinez, was disqualified from seventh to last after stewards judged she had come out and caused You Bought Her to clip heels and fall at the three-sixteenths pole. Both You Bought Her and jockey Julio Felix appeared to escape serious injury. Felix was taken for examination and complained of wrist pain.