08/16/2006 11:00PM

Chace City takes Special

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The connections of Chace City believe that when their 2-year-old colt's mental state catches up to his physical being, they will have one serious racehorse.

Chace City took a big step forward Thursday by withstanding a prolonged speed duel with longshot Actin Good before pulling away in the stretch and holding off a determined King of the Roxy to win the Grade 2, $200,000 Saratoga Special by three-quarters of a length. It was 6 1/2 lengths back to Shermanesque in third. It was the third victory from four starts for Chace City, a son of Carson City, who was purchased by Al Gold for $400,000 at last September's Keeneland sale. In his last start, the Grade 3 Bashford Manor at Churchill Downs, Chace City was bothered badly at the start and leapt in the air twice before attempting to rally from last. He finished sixth, beaten 5 1/4 lengths.

Thursday, under Edgar Prado, Chace City broke sharply and battled outside of Actin Good through fractions of 22.28 and 45.58 seconds, then edged clear of that rival in upper stretch before changing to his wrong lead, giving King of the Roxy a chance to gain. Still, he prevailed in a time of 1:16.83 for 6 1/2 furlongs and returned $6.30 as the favorite.

"Mentally, he's starting to put it together," trainer Scott Blasi said. "He's always been way ahead of the class physically."