Updated on 09/17/2011 9:52PM

Devilment times it right for a win

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Benoit & Associates
Devilment takes command at the top of the stretch and easily wins the $100,000 Round Table Stakes by two lengths Saturday at Arlington Park.

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - At the top of the Arlington Park backstretch late Saturday afternoon, Devilment and jockey Carlos Marquez ran into a tight spot - and that might have helped win the . Up close to the pace when he was beaten a neck in the Round Table prep, Devilment settled and finished this time, easily defeating Real Dandy and recording a record time in the $100,000 stakes race.

It was well done by Marquez, who has had few shining moments this summer, and even more so by Devilment ($11), who has progressed steadily this season for trainer Mike Stidham and Josephine Abercrombie's Pin Oak Farm.

After losing twice in sprints during Keeneland's spring meet, Devilment came to Chicago, started racing in blinkers, and leaped up to a new performance level. He blew out an entry-level allowance field May 22, and he looked like a winner in the June 26 overnight stakes prep before coming up just short.

On Saturday, Devilment left no doubt. As his stablemate, Thunder Mission, set a fast pace of 46.80 seconds for the half-mile, Devilment and Marquez, forced to steady by that early jam-up, waited several lengths behind the leaders. The field stacked up on the far turn, with Bob O's Boy and Straight Line taking their shots at Thunder Mission, and favored Real Dandy sneaking up the rail. But Devilment swooped four wide and powered off the turn, opening a clear lead at the top of the stretch and holding firm to it through the finish. He wound up two lengths clear of Real Dandy, and was timed in 1:47.73 for 1 1/8 miles, easily a stakes record. High Expectations, another late runner, finished third, with Thunder Mission holding fairly well for fourth.