07/22/2001 11:00PM

DRF's Sunday Stakes recaps (7/22/01)


Irving's Baby wires Delaware Handicap at 18-1

STANTON, Del. - Irving's Baby pulled a huge upset in Sunday's $600,300 Delaware Handicap, leading all the way under Ramon Dominguez to give trainer Todd Pletcher his second major triumph of the weekend with a filly at a classic distance.

Irving's Baby ($38), a 4-year-old filly owned by the Anstu Stable of Anita and Stuart Subotnick, won Delaware Park's signature race by 3 3/4 lengths over a determined Under the Rug.

The winner wrested command from Lazy Slusan soon after the start of the 1 1/4-mile race, gliding through fractions of 24.42 seconds, 49.40, and 1:14.04. Down the stretch, Irving's Baby finally put away Lazy Slusan, then edged clear from a steady late run by Under the Rug.

Lazy Slusan, the 121-pound highweight, finished third, while Jostle, the 4-5 favorite in a field of six fillies and mares, failed to fire from mid-pack, finishing fourth.

Saturday, Pletcher won the 1 1/2-mile Coaching Club American Oaks at Belmont with another longshot, Tweedside.

Irving's Baby won three minor stakes at Laurel last winter, then lost her next three starts. "For her best effort, she needs to make every pole a winning one and a lot of ground," said John Hassett, an assistant to Pletcher. "Everything lined up just right for her today."

* John's Call ($3.40), now 10, looked much the same as he did last year, when he won two Grade 1 stakes and the hearts of racing fans in a storybook year, scoring a 1 1/2-length victory in the $69,100 Cape Henlopen Stakes. Ridden by Jean-Luc Samyn, he looped the field on the far turn of the 1 1/2-mile turf race, then easily turned back Grundlefoot in a field of nine older horses.

Voss would like to follow the same path as last year with John's Call, meaning the Grade 1 Sword Dancer Handicap at Saratoga on Aug. 11 is next. Last year, John's Call won the Sword Dancer by 9 1/4 lengths.

- Marty McGee

Arlington: Favorites take a backseat

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Fan Club's Mister, an Illinois-bred 16-1 shot saddled by a trainer with three horses in her barn, upstaged the expected showdown between Royal Spy and Sligo Bay, leading virtually all the way to win the Grade 2 $250,000 American Derby.

Ridden by Randy Meier, who turned 47 and won his 3,500th career race this week, Fan Club's Mister ($38.20), turned back several challenges during the 1 3/16-mile turf race. He spurted clear with a half-furlong left to run and beat Monsieur Cat, another longshot, by 3 1/2 lengths.

Royal Spy, the narrow favorite, finished a nonthreatening third, almost four lengths in front of a well-beaten Sligo Bay.

Trainer Rickey Harris said if Fan Club's Mister continued to train well in the coming weeks, the colt would be pointed toward the Grade 1 Secretariat.

- Marcus Hersh

Fort Erie: Win City rallies in Prince of Wales

FORT ERIE, Ontario - Win City, avenging his Queen's Plate defeat in dramatic fashion, stormed down the stretch under rider Constant Montpellier to take the $350,000 Prince of Wales Stakes by a half-length over Dancethruthedawn.

The 1 3/16-mile Prince of Wales at Fort Erie follows the 1 1/4-mile Queen's Plate in the Canadian Triple Crown series for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds.

Win City ($6.20) had fallen short by the same margin when second to the filly Dancethruthedawn in the Queen's Plate at Woodbine on June 24.

"Around the sixteenth pole, it was like a flashback," said Montpellier. "I didn't know if I was going to get there. But I was confident the last few jumps. He wants to win, and he did it today."

Trainer Bob Tiller was noncommittal about the Breeders' Stakes, the 1 1/2- mile turf race at Woodbine on Aug. 11, the third leg of the Canadian Triple Crown. "I'm not convinced he's a mile and a half horse," said the trainer.

- Bill Tallon

* In other Sunday stakes, Allende ($47) upset Quiet Resolve, the reigning Canadian horse of the year, in the Grade 2 Hong Kong Jockey Club Trophy Stakes at Woodbine; Sure Shot Biscuit collected his fifth win of the year with a track-record performance in the $100,000 Omaha Handicap as Horsemen's Park concluded its three-day festival of racing; and owner Fourth and Six ($9.20) rallied from just off the pace to win the $81,725 Evan Shipman Stakes before a closing-day crowd of 10,243 at Belmont Park.