09/20/2014 4:47PM

Favorite Tale outduels Fast Anna in Gallant Bob

Barbara D. Livingston
Favorite Tale scores by 2 1/2 lengths under John Bisono in the $300,000 Gallant Bob Handicap.

BENSALEM, Pa. - Speed and the rail proved a dangerous combination Saturday at Parx, and Favorite Tale used both attributes - as well as an affinity for the track - to win the Grade 3, $300,000 Gallant Bob Stakes by 2 1/2 lengths.

Fast Anna, the 3-5 favorite, tried to run with Favorite Tale early but was no match for him in the stretch, yet still managed to hold second by a neck over Bump Start. He was followed, in order, by Pure Sensation, Prudhoe Bay, Good Bye Greg and Camden Street.

It was the first graded stakes victory for Favorite Tale and his second stakes win overall. He also took the Gold Fever Stakes at Belmont in May. It was also his fourth win in as many starts at Parx, where he is based with trainer Guadalupe Preciado.

“I think it makes a big difference being home,” said Preciado, who trains Favorite Tale for PJG Stables. “He trains over here, he runs great over here, I thought we got a good advantage over here. It was a tough race, but there’s nothing like being home.”

Favorite Tale was coming off a second-place finish as the 6-5 favorite in the Grade 3 Jersey Shore at Monmouth. Preciado thought he made a mistake by instructing jockey John Bisono to take the horse off the pace that day. He wasn’t going to make the same mistake twice.

Breaking from the rail, Favorite Tale stumbled under Bisono, but he quickly recovered and dueled with Fast Anna through a quarter in 21.33 seconds and a half-mile in 43.38.

“I know we were going fast, but I felt real comfortable with him,” Bisono said.

Turning for home, Favorite Tale came a path or two off the rail, but he kept on running and readily drew away from Fast Anna. Favorite Tale, a Pennsylvania-bred gelding by Tale of the Cat, covered six furlongs in 1:08.16 and returned $9 to win as the second choice.

“At the three-eighths pole he went on his own and took the lead,” Bisnono said. “I got him to relax. Turning for home, when he switched leads, I asked him and he went.”

Preciado said he would see how the horse comes out of the race before making any decisions on where next to run. He did not rule out the Breeders’ Cup Sprint.

“That’d be nice,” Preciado said. “He deserves a chance, but let’s see how he comes back and go from there.”

Fast Anna was the 3-5 favorite based on a close third-place finish in the Grade 1 King’s Bishop. Trainer Kathy Ritvo felt he ran a good race.

“He got away from us and he was hard to catch,” Ritvo said of Favorite Tale. “That horse ran a good race. Our horse ran good, too.”