05/02/2008 11:00PM

Einstein does his dad proud


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - In 1985, Spend a Buck wowed the crowd at Churchill Downs by winning the Kentucky Derby. Twenty-three years later, a son of Spend a Buck, Einstein, also thrilled Derby-goers, albeit in a different race, Saturday's Grade 1, $548,300 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic.

Racing over a "good" Churchill Downs turf course soaked by rain in the early morning and on Friday, Einstein had no difficulty handling the wet going. He broke sharply and immediately placed himself in a stalking position in second early as Thorn Song set a soft pace of 24.68 seconds for the quarter-mile and 49.13 for the half in the 1 1/8-mile race.

Then, after falling back to third briefly when Duveen made a move to press the leader on the backstretch, Einstein quickly got into gear, surging three wide to take command entering the stretch.

He opened up a two-length lead in midstretch and turned back a late bid from Out of Control to win by a length. He ran the 1o1/8 miles in 1:50.50, paying $6.40 as the favorite.

"He's unbelievable," trainer Helen Pitts said jubilantly.

The win marked the second Grade 1 victory of the year for Einstein, who also won the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf at Gulfstream Park at 1 3/8 miles on Feb. 23 before running second to Kip Deville in the Grade 1 Maker's Mark Mile April 11.

Einstein also won the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf in 2006, but jockey Robby Albarado said the horse is vastly improved from that time, as well as from last year.

Although the winner's tactical speed ensured a good trip in the Woodford Reserve, it was his heart, not his early quickness that ultimately won the race. Out of Control, who enjoyed a smooth, stalking trip in fourth early, rallied to pull within about a half-length of Einstein within a sixteenth of a mile remaining, but could pass the winner.

"He refuses to let a horse by," Albarado said.

The $333,149 prize for winning the Woodford Reserve made Einstein a millionaire. A 6-year-old Brazilian-bred horse owned by Patricia Cunningham and Melissa Green, Einstein has has won 8 of 18 starts and $1,107,931.

Garrett Gomez, who rode Out of Control, said the wet course compromised his mount's chances, causing Out of Control to bobble a few times when called upon for his best.

Artiste Royal rallied for third, a length behind Out of Control.

Yate's Black Cat, Duveen, Thorn Song, and Golden Balls completed the order of finish. War Monger was scratched.