10/30/2015 6:17PM

Bailoutbobby pounces late to win Marathon

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Barbara D. Livingston
Bailoutbobby wins the Marathon Stakes by 5 1/4 lengths Friday at Keeneland.

Trainer Doug O'Neill brought a handful of horses to Keeneland for Breeders' Cup weekend, led by a bevy of Grade 1-performing juveniles. He also brought the old man, 5-year-old gelding Bailoutbobby, who showed his younger stablemates how it's done by pouncing on the far turn and drawing off to win the Grade 2, $200,000 Marathon Stakes on Friday evening at Keeneland.

Bailoutbobby ($11.40), under Joel Rosario, was content to settle back in fourth early as Grade 1 winner Majestic Harbor led the first time by the wire in the 1 3/4-mile contest, getting his opening six furlongs in 1:14.51. Majestic Harbor took his lead into the second run down the backstretch, but the multiple graded stakes winner Neck 'n Neck, who saved ground through the opening mile, worked his way out to begin turning the pressure up, drawing to the leader’s flank around the far turn.

But as those two engaged in battle, Bailoutbobby made a sweeping move on the far turn to assume command. Still well out in the middle of the track, the gelding continued to draw clear while kept to task by Rosario, winning by 5 1/4 lengths. The final time was 2:56.75.

Meanwhile, behind the winner, a stubborn Majestic Harbor held off Neck 'n Neck to hold second by a short length. Zambian Dream, who was bet down to surprise favoritism after being 20-1 on the morning line, finished seventh.

This was the sixth win in 34 career starts for veteran campaigner Bailoutbobby but his first win in 11 starts this season. He was twice graded stakes placed in that span.

California-based trainer O’Neill also saddled Lideris, who finished 10th in the Marathon. Tomorrow, he will start the unbeaten multiple Grade 1 winner Nyquist and Grade 1 winner Ralis in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile; multiple Grade 1-placed Land Over Sea in the Juvenile Fillies; Sharla Rae in the Filly and Mare Turf; and Jimmy Bouncer in the Turf Sprint.