12/12/2009 12:00AM

Devient Behavior scores in Edgar Illinois Futurity

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STICKNEY, Ill. - Trainer Rusty Hellman hoped that Devient Behavior would relax more in his second start around two turns than the horse had in his first try running long. That didn't happen -- and it didn't matter. Rank early and tugging ceaselessly, Devient Behavior still was able to win the $106,475 Jim Edgar Illinois Futurity by 2 1/4 lengths over onrushing Sheltowee.

Devient Behavior got too strong and got in trouble in a two-turn Hawthorne allowance race on Nov. 21, coming close to going down on the backstretch. In the Edgar, he broke on top under Tim Thornton, but even before getting to the first turn, Devient Behavior was doing his best to run off.

"He's just so strong wanting to go," Thornton said. "He would have run off by 10 if I'd have let him."

Instead, Thornton was able to get Devient Behavior tucked in behind a horse as Wildwood Winner took the lead and crossed over to the rail as the field hit the backstretch. The Edgar pace was quick, 24.07 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and 46.97 to the half, but that half-mile split was wind-aided and the racing surface here was playing fast most of the day. Thornton gave Devient Behavior his head before the quarter pole, and Devient Behavior quickly took over the lead from fading Wildwood Winner. While he may have tired late after expending so much early energy, Devient Behavior had enough left to hold clear Sheltowee.

"Maybe just having that last race in him helped," said Hellman, who trains Devient Behavior for owner-breeder Dana Waier Thoroughbreds.

Devient Behavior, the 7-5 favorite, paid $4.80 to win and was timed in 1:42.45 for 1 1/16 miles. Sheltowee finished 3 1/4 lengths in front of third-place Slewzoom and might have been nearer the winner had he not fallen so far behind in the early part of the race. Last of 13 on the backstretch, Sheltowee - still a maiden - remained near the back of the field turning for home before launching a late rally.

"He hits the eighth pole and it's like he's shot out of a cannon," trainer Chris Block said.