Updated on 09/17/2011 9:12PM

Clock Stopper wins one

Bill Straus/Keeneland
Clock Stopper wins the Grade 2 Commonwealth Breeders' Cup Stakes at Keeneland on Saturday.

LEXINGTON, Ky. - In the days leading to the Grade 2 Commonwealth Breeders' Cup Stakes, trainer Dallas Stewart didn't want to hear about how Clock Stopper had been coming up short against top-flight sprinters.

"He'll be ready," Stewart promised.

And ready he was. Clock Stopper, getting a perfect stalking trip under Jerry Bailey, surged past front-running Gators N Bears in midstretch to win the $424,900 on Saturday at Keeneland. Clock Stopper returned $11.60 as fourth choice in a field of six older horses.

Gators N Bears was three-quarters of a length behind the winner and another 2 3/4 lengths before Silver Wagon. Sir Shackleton, the 17-10 favorite, was fourth, followed in order by the defending champion, Lion Tamer, and Cajun Beat, the 2003 BC Sprint champion. Gold Storm was an early scratch.

Stewart said he was not surprised that Clock Stopper was able to snap an eight-race losing streak with the Commonwealth win. Clock Stopper had finished second or third in every race but one throughout a losing skein that spanned more than nine months.

"He's got a few things behind him now, and this is going to be a long year," said Stewart. "We're going to look forward to it."

Clock Stopper, a 5-year-old gelding by Gilded Time, finished seven furlongs in 1:22.06 over a fast track. He now has won 6 of 20 starts for owner Overbrook Farm.

Earlier Saturday, Bailey also won with Soaring Free ($4.60), who repeated as champion in the $113,300 Shakertown Stakes by gamely holding off a torrid late run by Mighty Beau.

Soaring Free, making his seasonal debut for owner Sam-Son Farms and trainer Mark Frostad, prevailed by a neck, running the 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:02.22 over firm turf. Mighty Beau, who was away a bit slowly under Garrett Gomez before launching a bid, finished a half-length ahead of Parker Run, an 86-1 shot, in third place.

Soaring Free, 6, also won the Shakertown last year as the favorite, using the race as a springboard to a season in which he earned over $1.1 million.