01/26/2013 6:34PM

Fair Grounds: Delaunay runs away with Gaudin Memorial

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Jamie Hernandez/Coady Photography
Delaunay, a 5-year-old son of Smoke Glacken, now has 12 wins from 37 career starts.

Now that he has discovered life in the penthouse, Delaunay appears to have no interest in returning to his former blue-collar existence.

Saturday at Fair Grounds, the reformed claimer won his fourth straight race, all stakes, and his fifth stakes since owner Maggi Moss and trainer Tom Amoss claimed him for $40,000 last May 12 at Churchill Downs. Delaunay blasted out of post 1 and never looked back, capturing the $75,000 F.W. Gaudin Memorial Stakes by 4 1/4 lengths over Gantry.

Delaunay and jockey Shaun Bridgmohan won easily Saturday despite encountering circumstances less than ideal.

“Delaunay is a horse who really doesn’t like the rail,” Amoss said. “Shaun had a tough decision to make. The decision was to try and run them off their feet and coast home at the end.”

And that’s exactly what Delaunay did. He set sizzling splits of 21.44 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and 44.12 for the first half, with Hamiltonian pressing to the outside and main rival Gantry sitting in third. Gantry angled out for the stretch run, but Delaunay already had opened an insurmountable lead and was gone. He stopped the timer in a fine 1:09.06 for six furlongs on a fast track.

“He was getting a little tired late, but so was everyone else,” said Amoss. “He won the race the first eighth of a mile.”

Delaunay paid $3.40 to win as the strong favorite. Gantry beat Hamiltonian by three-quarters of a length for second. Laurie’s Rocket and Pass the Dice were scratched.

Delaunay, a 5-year-old son of Smoke Glacken, won the Temperence Hill, the Bet on Sunshine, and the Thanksgiving Handicaps before his victory Saturday. He has 12 wins from 37 career starts, seven of those victories coming during 2012.

Animal Style takes Van Berg

Animal Style, another former claimer, won the inaugural edition of the $75,000 Van Berg Stakes, a turf sprint for 3-year-olds.

Owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey and trainer Mike Maker claimed Animal Style for $35,000 during the fall 2013 meet at Churchill Downs. Animal Style finished second in a turf-sprint allowance race Dec. 15 at Fair Grounds, won an off-the-turf sprint allowance on Jan. 6, and took another step forward Saturday, rallying from ninth to win by 1 1/2 lengths. Animal Style broke from the rail but was guided to the far outside by Shaun Bridgmohan, making his stretch rally nearer the outside rail than the inside.

Strong Response finished second, one length in front of Evan’s Calling. Party Lad, the 6-5 favorite in from Florida, never factored and finished sixth. Animal Style was timed in 1:05.88 for 5 1/2 furlongs on a good turf course and paid $12.60 to win.