10/21/2004 11:00PM

Battle Won delivers a win


Trainer Chuck Simon came as close as possible to promising victory for his stable star, Battle Won, in the $84,675 Woodford County Stakes at Keeneland on Friday.

One lost shoe and several stern challenges later, Battle Won, ridden by Rafael Bejarano, delivered what his trainer promised, winning the 5 1/2-furlong turf race as the favorite in a field of 10 older horses. For Bejarano, the victory was the sixth in a stakes at the fall meet, just one off the Keeneland record.

Simon, who bought Battle Won privately on behalf of owner Jay Manoogian last spring, said, "We're hoping this race gets us invited to run at Hong Kong" next month.

Battle Won beat Sgt. Bert by a half-length. Chosen Chief, who forced all the pace, was another neck back in third. The winning mutuel was $6, and the winning time was 1:02.70 over a good turf course.

Battle Won, a 4-year-old gelding by Honour and Glory, had won the Kentucky Cup Turf Dash in impressive fashion in his previous start, leading Simon, a former longtime assistant to Hall of Fame trainer Allen Jerkens, to exude confidence before the Woodford County.