11/28/2008 12:00AM

Einstein dusts Commentator


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Einstein looked heavily favored Commentator in the eye turning for home and went on to prove clearly superior Friday under Julien Leparoux in a dramatic 134th running of the Grade 2 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs.

With the normally reserved Leparoux waving his whip in exuberance passing under the finish, Einstein won a race in which it was questionable whether he would even get to run.

Einstein competed under the generic blue-and-white stable silks of trainer Helen Pitts. The complex legal case involving the horses previous owner, Midnight Cry, owned by disbarred attorneys William Gallion and Shirley Cunningham, had left the horse running in the name of a receiver, Matthew L. Garretson, representing class-action clients in the highly publicized fen-phen diet drug case.

Einstein, a 6-year-old Brazilian-bred horse, returned $11.80 as second choice after finishing 1 1/2 lengths in front of Delightful Kiss, a 14-1 shot who rallied late to get second by 2 1/4 lengths over Commentator, the 2-5 favorite, who finished third.

Commentator, with John Velazquez riding for Nick Zito, set the pace as expected in the 1 1/8-mile race, but the 7-year-old gelding never cleared off as if he were going to dominate in what has been familiar fashion. By the quarter pole, Einstein, always in range, pulled even with him, and within seconds he was pulling away to his ninth victory from 22 career starts.

"I knew I had to stay close to Commentator," said Leparoux, who won four other races on the day, breaking a 23-year-old record for victories at a Churchill fall meet.

Einstein earned $267,589 from the $440,400 total purse. He finished in 1:49.79 over a fast track.

* Bullsbay ($4.60) powered to victory under Leparoux in an allowance route in which Da' Tara, the 2008 Belmont Stakes winner trained by Zito, set the pace before fading to third.

* Kent Desormeaux was the other riding star on the 12-race card, riding four winners.