03/23/2013 6:38PM

Gulfstream Park: Twilight Eclipse delivers world-record performance in Pan American

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Barbara D. Livingston
Javier Castellano guides Twilight Eclipse to a world-record time of 2:22.63 for 1 1/2 miles on turf.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. -  Twilight Eclipse got the firm ground he needed and added distance he loves, that combination resulting in not only a four-length victory over Ioya Bigtime in Saturday’s $150,000 Pan American Stakes at Gulfstream Park but a world record in the process.

With leading jockey Javier Castellano riding a flawless race, Twilight Eclipse, the starting highweight under 123 pounds, slipped inside the tiring Ioya Bigtime entering the stretch before drawing off to his second Grade 2 win in his last three starts. Twilight Eclipse also won Calder’s Grade 2 W. L. McKnight in his 3-year-old finale.

Ioya Bigtime attended the early pace of Teaks North, took command before a mile, proved no match for the winner but remained 1 1/2 lengths clear of the 8-5 favorite Newsdad to finish second. Newsdad, the defending Pan Am champion, was forced to race wide while advancing on the final turn and lacked a solid closing response.

Twilight Eclipse ($12.20), a 4-year-old son of Purim, is owned by West Point Thoroughbreds and trained by Tom Albertrani. His final time of 2:22.63 over a very firm turf course eclipsed the track standard of 2:23.07 set nearly seven years earlier by Honey Ryder and the world mark established at Santa Anita just last week by Bright Thought.

“Amazing,” said Albertrani when asked about Twilight Eclipse’s record. “I was surprised when I heard it. I was just happy to win the race for one, the track record here and a world record is a great accomplishment for the horse and the team. He got a great trip, got through inside, kicked, had plenty left. Everything worked in our favor. Firm turf today suited him better than in the Mac Diarmida and so did the extra furlong. He’s definitely a long-distance horse. Everything went right.”