06/06/2008 12:00AM

Delosvientos holds on in Brooklyn

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ELMONT, N.Y. - Delosvientos took command soon after the start and widened to a sizable enough advantage down the stretch to hold Evening Attire safe in the 120th running of the Grade 2 Brooklyn Handicap, the highlight of the Friday card at Belmont Park.

With Eibar Coa riding for owner-trainer Giuseppe Iadisernia, Delosvientos posted his first graded stakes victory when returning $6.60 as the second choice in the Brooklyn, which New York Racing Association officials this year decided to extend back to 1 1/2 miles for the first time since 1990.

Delosvientos, a 5-year-old Kentucky-bred gelding by Siphon, did not break on top, but it did not take long for Coa to get there. By the first turn, he was clear of the field, while Evening Attire, away to his customary tardy break, lagged well behind the four pace pursuers among the field of six older horses.

Until late in the far turn, Coa nursed Delosvientos along on a lead of a little more than a length, after which the gelding opened up without being asked. At the eighth pole, while the chasers tired and as Delosvientos rolled to a five-length lead, only Evening Attire, an 8-1 shot, was making a run. But Coa kept his mount to steady right-handed pressure, and Delosvientos crossed the wire two lengths ahead when finishing in 2:30.96 over a fast track.

"I kind of had to push him a little bit going to the first turn," Coa said. "He finished really well."

Angliana finished third, another 5 1/4 lengths back, followed by Sightseeing. Nite Light, the 8-5 favorite, faded badly to fifth, beating only Imawildandcrazyguy. Awfully Smart was an early scratch.

Delosvientos earned $120,000 from the $199,000 purse. His previous richest victory had come in his prior race, a $75,000 overnight stakes May 15 at Belmont. He now has won 6 of 11 career starts.

Ontrack attendance on the 10-race Belmont Stakes eve program was 6,182.

The Brooklyn was reconfigured as a potential prep for the newly created $500,000 Breeders' Cup Dirt Marathon, to be run at 1 5/8 miles on Cushion Track at Santa Anita on Oct. 25.

Hill Prince: Gio Ponti kicks clear

One race later, Gio Ponti unleashed a devastating stretch run after trailing most of the way in winning the Grade 3, $111,000 Hill Prince for 3-year-olds at a mile on the turf.

Gio Ponti, making his first start since the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf last fall, returned $6.50 with his third win from four overall starts. The son of Tale of the Cat is owned by Castleton Lyons Farm and trained by Christophe Clement. Garrett Gomez was aboard.

Prussian, who led for most of the way under Kent Desormeaux, finished two lengths behind the winner in second after staving off earlier bids from Moral Compass and Hatta Fort, the eventual third- and fourth-place finishers.

Gio Ponti won his career debut on the Belmont turf, then the Bourbon Stakes at Keeneland, before running a troubled eighth in the BC Juvenile Turf on Oct. 26.

The winning time was 1:35.03 over firm turf.