10/25/2008 12:00AM

Atoned ends long drought


Atoned, often close but winless in his last 10 starts since winning the Continental Mile in August 2007, finally caught some racing luck when he nipped Ready Set by a nose in Friday night's Grade 3, $200,000 Pegasus Stakes at the Meadowlands.

In seven starts earlier this season, Atoned ($17.80) was narrowly beaten three times, finishing a head behind Truth Rules in the Long Branch at Monmouth, a neck behind Cool Coal Man in the Spend a Buck, and beaten a neck by Big Truck in the Grade 3 Tampa Bay Derby.

In the 1 1/8-mile Pegasus, Atoned, ridden by Chris DeCarlo for trainer Todd Pletcher, moved three wide entering the stretch and just managed to hold off the late bid of Ready Set, winner of the West Virginia Derby.

Atoned covered the distance on a fast track in 1:49.33. Atoned, a 3-year-old son of Repent, is now 3 for 15 with earnings of $436,257.

Coal Play, the stronger part of the two-horse Nick Zito-trained entry that went off as the 6-5 favorite, faded to next-to-last in the field of nine. His stablemate, Truth Rules, finished third. Zito's third horse, Belmont Stakes winner Da' Tara, was scratched.

* Blue Sailor ($18), ridden by Harry Vega for trainer Howard Wolfendale, scored a wire-to-wire one-length victory over favored Smart Enough in the $60,000 Thomas Edison for turf sprinters.