08/27/2012 7:57AM

Ferndale: Falling Knife justifies claim with victory in C.J. Hindley Humboldt County Marathon


Falling Knife was claimed for $25,000 on Aug. 9 at Del Mar by trainer Billy Morey expressly to run in the $30,790 C.J. Hindley Humboldt County Marathon at the Humboldt County Fair. He made the claim pay off Sunday with an eight-length victory in the 1 5/8-mile race.

Falling Knife, a graded-stakes-placed distance specialist who had previously won a 2 1/4-mile race, was content to sit back early in the race, during which runners pass the finish line four times. He moved outside into the clear under jockey Joe Crispin as he approached the final turn and pulled away through the stretch to win in 2:52.94. Falling Knife paid $6.

Mississippi Gold was second, 8 1/2 lengths in front of defending champion Steel Blue, whose jockey, Barrington Harvey, was gunning for his third straight Marathon victory. Steel Blue was a neck in front of 8-5 favorite Northern Indy.

“We definitely did claim the horse for that race and got it done," said Morey, who ran second in the Marathon with Potri Cacho in 2004.

Morey credited assistant Jim Haverty, who took the 6-year-old gelding to Ferndale at the start of the meeting and got him accustomed to the half-mile track with daily gallops.

The victory was worth $18,050, and was Falling Knife’s sixth in 24 starts. He now has career earnings of $165,984.