05/15/2016 8:34PM

Barkley narrowly prevails in battle of unbeatens in Auburn Handicap

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Barkley remained undefeated in four starts with a game win over previously undefeated Mach One Rules in the $50,000 Auburn Handicap at Emerald Downs on Sunday. He paid $4.60 as the co-favorite with Mach One Rules in the 6 1/2-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds.

With Javier Matias aboard, Barkley stalked the early pace, was in tight at the three-eighths pole, and then unleashed a strong move along to rail to nail Mach One Rules by a head. Mach One Rules sat just off Seeking a Mystery early, took over the lead after a half-mile in 44.43 seconds, and was very game when challenged by the winner inside the sixteenth pole. Access This loomed dangerously at the top of the stretch but couldn’t match strides with the top pair.

“He’s a classy horse and he gave me everything he had when I asked him,” said Matias. “I was in a little tight on the turn, but he was good enough to overcome it.”

Barkley, by Munnings, is trained by Howard Belvoir and owned by Belvoir and Rising Star Stable 111.

The final time was 1: 14.21 over a track rated fast.