11/23/2013 4:46PM

Fair Grounds: String King captures Mr. Sulu for second time

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Hodges Photography/Lynn Roberts
James Graham guides String King to a three-quarter-length victory in the Mr. Sulu for Louisiana-breds.

Heavily favored String King had to work harder than expected to put away 45-1 outsider Tiger Run and win the $60,000 Mr. Sulu Stakes for Louisiana-breds at Fair Grounds for the second time Saturday.

Racing over a turf course rated yielding, Tiger Run, under Brian Hernandez Jr., set slow fractions of 25.32 and 50.75 seconds in the one-mile race. String King, ridden by James Graham, was six lengths off the pace racing in fourth down the backstretch.

String King ($2.60) moved up into contention at the quarter pole and took a slight lead in upper stretch, but Tiger Run, stepping up following a victory over conditioned $25,000 claimers at Hawthorne, refused to fold. String King finally surged clear to score by three-quarters of a length, completing the mile in 1:42.16. Tiger Run was a clear second. Sadie’s Soldier beat out Sunwave by a head for third.

It was the 11th win in 26 starts for String King, bred, owned, and trained by Charles Smith.