07/15/2017 8:54PM

Frostmourne finishes with a flourish in Kent Stakes

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Frostmourne powered home to win the Kent Stakes by six lengths.

STANTON, Del. – Frostmourne took another step forward Saturday by using a strong finish to leave his rivals spread out in parade formation behind him in the Grade 3, $200,000 Kent Stakes, a 1 1/8-mile turf race for 3-year-olds at Delaware Park.

Rank in some of his races last year at 2, Frostmourne came into the Kent off a stylish win in the Grade 2 Penn Mile, relaxing early and then finishing well to score by 1 1/4 lengths. He topped that performance Saturday.

With Joel Rosario subbing for Irad Ortiz Jr., who rode the Belmont Park card, Frostmourne broke alertly but settled into second position as The Tortoise ran off to a long early lead through fractions of 24.90 and 48.43. Frostmourne began to close ground while in hand nearing the far turn, took the lead at the top of the stretch, and then powered home to win by six lengths.

The Tortoise covered six furlongs in 1:12.86 but Frostmourne was in control after a mile in 1:38.30. He completed the course in 1:49.95, meaning he covered his final eighth in 11.65 seconds.

"I was going to hit him in the stretch, but he was going so fast I just tried to hold him together," Rosario said.

Frostmourne could have stretched out to 1 1/4 miles last week in the Grade 1 Belmont Derby, but the colt's owners preferred the Kent. Frostmourne is owned by the Green Lantern Stables of Richard and Sue Masson. Sue and her son, Pat, were on hand at Delaware Park on Saturday.

"We bought the dam and we've raced all of her horses," Pat Masson said. "They have all been eight-furlong or eight-and-a-half furlong horses. We are not afraid of the 1 1/4 miles for Frostmourne, but we were hesitant to try the 10 furlongs against that tough of company."

Trainer Christophe Clement was pleased with Frostmourne's performance in the Kent.

"He handled a mile and an eighth no problem today," Clement said. "I think he's a top-class horse."

Frostmourne paid $3 to win. Master Plan finished second, 1 3/4 lengths ahead of Adonis Creed in third. It was another four lengths back to Lunaire in fourth.

Clement said that upcoming options for Frostmourne include the Grade 1, $400,000 Secretariat at Arlington Park on Aug. 12 or the Grade 3, $300,000 Saranac at Saratoga on Sept. 2. A fall objective is the Grade 3, $500,000 Hill Prince at Belmont on Oct. 7.

Hockessin: Struth wins front end battle

Struth and Always Sunshine went at it from the start in the $50,000 Hockessin Stakes with Struth edging away in the final furlong to score by 1 1/2 lengths.

Struth and Alaways Sunshine set a relaxed early pace but picked up the tempo noticeably, with Struth completing six furlongs in 1:09.65 after fractions of 23.23 and 45.61. Struth paid $10.60 in the five-horse field.

The win was the third in the first seven races on the card for Edwin Gonzalez.

Struth, a 5-year-old Curlin gelding, is 2-for-3 since being claimed at Pimlico for $20,000 by trainer Kieron Magee and owner Mark Sitlinger. He is 7-for-17 in his career.

Eighty Three finished third, 6 3/4 lengths behind Always Sunshine.

Hanford Memorial: Brereton Jones has second winner on card

No Distortion blew the $50,000 Carl Hanford Memorial open with a three-wide move on the far turn and was not threatened in the stretch en route to a 2 1/2-length victory.

No Distortion, a 4-year-old gelding by Distorted Humor, was the second winner on the card bred and owned by Brereton Jones, the former governor of Kentucky and owner of Airdrie Stud.

Earlier in the day, Jones won a maiden race on turf with Proud Reunion, a daughter of Proud Citizen. No Distortion is trained by Larry Jones. Proud Reunion is conditioned by Tom Proctor.

No Distortion, the second winner on the card for jockey Edwin Gonzalez, paid $15.20 and covered the 1 1/16 miles of the Hanford in 1:43.90.

Sea Raven rallied from far back to finish second. Discreet Lover was third, 1 1/2 lengths farther back. Adirondack King, the 11-10 favorite finished fourth, 1 1/4 lengths behind Discreet Lover.

- additional reporting by David Grening