09/05/2008 11:00PM

Delightful Kiss discovers marathon suits him


Delightful Kiss entered Saturday's Grade 3, $100,000 Turfway Park Fall Championship without having raced over a synthetic track or farther than 1 1/8 miles.

It didn't show in his performance. Unleashing an eye-catching rally under Calvin Borel on the final turn of the 1 1/2-mile stakes, Delightful Kiss ($19) swooped to the lead and maintained a comfortable advantage in the stretch to win by 1 1/4 lengths over Star Plus.

In winning the Turfway Park Fall Championship, a Win and You're In challenge race, Delightful Kiss qualified for the inaugural running of the Breeders' Cup Marathon next month at Santa Anita. That race is also contested at 1 1/2 miles over a synthetic track.

The early pace of the Saturday's race worked to Delightful Kiss's advantage. Although the fractions appeared moderate, 49.55 seconds for a half-mile and 1:15.50 for six furlongs, it proved too demanding for the distance, and the two early leaders, Canela and A. P. Xcellent, folded from their efforts.

A wall of horses then surged to engage them midway on the final turn, but none could muster the acceleration to go with Delightful Kiss leaving the turn and through the stretch. The winner, a 4-year-old gelded son of Kissin Kris owned and bred by Hobeau Farm and trained by Pete Anderson, raced 1 1/2 miles over Turfway's Polytrack surface in 2:32.25.

Star Plus closed late to grab second by a neck over Dominican. The favored Jade's Revenge was sixth.