07/19/2008 12:00AM

Evening Attire powers to road win


Evening Attire, the ageless wonder, pulled away to an 8 1/4-length win Saturday in the $250,000 Greenwood Cup at 1 1/2 miles.

The 10-year-old gray gelding scored his first win in 11 races outside New York and moved within a whisker of $3 million in purse earnings. More importantly, Evening Attire secured a trip to the Breeders' Cup.

The Greenwood was the first Breeders' Cup Challenge Win and You're In stakes held at Philadelphia Park. With the victory, Evening Attire ($6.40) now has an automatic berth in the debut of the Breeders' Cup Marathon at 1 1/2 miles at Santa Anita on Oct. 25.

"California is pretty far out there," trainer Pat Kelly said. "Now we're going to enjoy this. We're happy and excited."

As an added bonus, Evening Attire took home the track record at the rarely run distance. He was clocked in 2:29.90 on the extremely hot day, erasing the old mark of 2:31 set by Laugh a Minute in 1992.

As expected, Barcola bounded to the lead while Evening Attire, three wide in the early stages, was reserved off the pace by jockey Jose Espinoza. Evening Attire, the only proven dirt marathoner in the field, switched to the rail for the run around the final turn.

Turning for home, Evening Attire kicked past the tiring Barcola, romping to his 15th career win.

"Jose did a great job," Kelly said. "He sat there and relaxed and cut the corner. It looked like a flashback, back to the good old days."

The win was the first for Evening Attire since the Grade 3 Queens County Handicap at Aqueduct in December. He had collected a trio of seconds in five races since then, including the Grade 2 Brooklyn Handicap at Belmont Park.

Phil the Power, primarily a turf runner switched to the main track by trainer Joe Orseno, got second. Barcola, the 7-5 favorite, held for third, followed by Three in the Bag, Solemn Promise, and Bureaucratic.