Updated on 07/14/2013 11:25AM

Arlington Park: Infinite Magic by a head in American Derby

Four Footed Fotos
Infinite Magic, with Channing Hill aboard, won the Grade 3 American Derby by a head over Admiral Kitten on Saturday.

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – When Infinite Magic was imported from England after making five starts overseas, he had never been in a turf race. But it was on turf Saturday at Arlington that Infinite Magic made his mark, skimming the rail under rider Channing Hill to win the Grade 3, $200,000 American Derby by a head over the hard-charging Admiral Kitten.

Infinite Magic, a Kentucky-bred son of More than Ready, raced solely on all-weather tracks in England, but in his final race there, he won over 1 1/4 miles. The victory over a distance of ground caught the eye of Team Valor Chief Executive Barry Irwin, who said he bought the colt in hopes of finding a Belmont Stakes runner.

That plan did not pan out, as Infinite Magic finished a distant ninth in the Peter Pan Stakes, his dirt debut, and even with a spot of trouble in the race, Infinite Magic’s next start, a sixth in the Hill Prince on turf at Belmont, failed to impress.

But on Saturday at Arlington, Infinite Magic ($27.20) probably turned in the best performance of his career, taking up an ideal inside spot tracking the moderate pace (24.15 seconds, 49.34) set by Mongolian Saturday. The early leader caved in quickly when challenged by the pace-pressing Dorsett past the three-sixteenths pole, but Dorsett soon found himself swallowed up, too.

Hill and Infinite Magic got the best run of all the closers, scooting up the fence as the favored Admiral Kitten took the overland route to the finish. Admiral Kitten and Julien Leparoux were gaining at the wire, but Infinite Magic, finishing far to the inside of Admiral Kitten, dug in gamely to get his head down first.

The winning time for the 1 3/16 miles on firm going was 1:55.31.

New York invader Stormy Len got third, followed by a one-paced Procurement. General Election, the winner of the Arlington Classic, finished unevenly and as a precaution was vanned off the track following the race. Trainer Kellyn Gorder said Saturday night that General Election appeared not to have suffered any significant injuries.