09/07/2013 10:53PM

Churchill Downs: Pants On Fire draws clear late in Ack Ack

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Reed Palmer Photography/Churchill Downs
Pants On Fire, back at Churchill Downs for the first time since the 2011 Kentucky Derby, wins the Ack Ack Handicap under Paco Lopez.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – It came more than two years late, but Pants On Fire finally found the Churchill Downs winner’s circle.

Ninth as the 8-1 second choice in the 2011 Kentucky Derby, the 5-year-old Pants On Fire rolled to victory Saturday night in the 21st running of the Grade 3, $110,700 Ack Ack Handicap at Churchill. Paco Lopez was aboard for owners George and Lori Hall and trainer Kelly Breen.

Rating kindly from just off the pace through the opening stages of the one-turn mile, Pants On Fire overtook the 2-1 favorite, Taptowne, inside the eighth pole before finishing 2 3/4 lengths to the good. He paid $7 as second choice after finishing in a stakes-record 1:33.78 over a fast track. Taptowne held second and Good Morning Diva was third in a field of eight older horses.

Pants On Fire had only one prior start at Churchill, and that was in the Derby.

“This was nice,” said Breen. “We’ll probably go straight into the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile now, then maybe over to Japan for a race after that. They’ve been kind of hinting around at us coming over there, and that could be fun.”

Pants On Fire, a Kentucky-bred by Jump Start, now has won 8 of 22 career starts. He spotted his rivals 3 to 7 pounds as the 121-pound highweight.

Flashy American prevails in Locust Grove

Flashy American ($5.20) wore down Wine Princess in the final 70 yards to take a hard-earned 1 1/4-length victory in the $111,400 Locust Grove. Awesome Flower was another 5 3/4 lengths back in a field of eight fillies and mares in the 1 1/16-mile race. The winning time was 1:43.53.

Corey Lanerie, who won the Grade 2 Pocahontas one race earlier on the card, was aboard Flashy American for Preston Stables and trainer Ken McPeek. Flashy American, a 4-year-old gray filly by Flashy Bull, now has won 4 of her last 5 starts and was coming off a victory in a restricted stakes at Saratoga.

Correction: A previous version of this article misstated the Breeders' Cup race that Pants On Fire will target. Trainer Kelly Breen said he would go straight into the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile, not the BC Mile.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting, Pants on fire delivered a stakes record of 133.78 in the Ack Ack on Saturday night. In his last 2 year he has never be close to that speed in any mile race or in a split at 1 1/16. Interesting...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
one turn mile
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting, Pants on Fire delivers a mile in 133.78 which is about 3.82 sec faster that he has ever run a mile or on a split at 1 1/16th. Interesting...