10/07/2005 11:00PM

Host runs down Vanderlin

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Host, ridden by Rafael Bejarano, gets up at the wire to score a neck victory in Saturday's Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland.

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Longshots dominated as favorites flopped when Rafael Bejarano guided Host, a 10-1 outsider, to victory Saturday in the richest race of the Keeneland fall meet, the Grade 1, $600,000 .

Host, trained by Todd Pletcher, rallied from ninth in the 10-horse field to win the Shadwell by a neck over Vanderlin, a 27-1 shot. Gulch Approval, who contested the pace the entire trip, finished third at 28-1, while Remind, a 27-1 shot, was fourth. The winner returned $22.80.

The Shadwell was a major disappointment for the three favorites, none of whom threatened: Three Valleys, the 2-1 favorite, was fifth; Ad Valorem, the 3-1 third choice, was sixth; and Alinghi, the 2-1 second choice, was eighth.

Remarkably, the Shadwell was yet another major score at Keeneland this year for Pletcher, the nation's current earnings leader. At the spring meet, Pletcher, based primarily in New York, won the Grade 1 Blue Grass, the Grade 2 Lexington, and the Grade 3 Doubledogdare.

Host, a Chilean-bred 5-year-old, was kept wide and out of traffic by Bejarano. After looping the field on the far turn, he still had about three lengths to make up on Gulch Approval and Vanderlin in midstretch, but a late surge carried him past both.

"When I asked him to run, he just exploded," said Bejarano.

Host, now a winner in 8 of 14 career starts, more than doubled his bankroll by earning $372,000. He finished the mile in 1:37.67 over a firm turf.

Host, owned by Eugene and Laura Melnyk, was making his first start in nearly eight months, having finished second in the Feb. 12 Appleton Handicap at Gulfstream Park in his previous start. "When he came back to us from his vacation, he really looked good," said Pletcher assistant Michelle Neihi. "This is huge for us. We are very happy."

To run back in the Oct. 29 Breeders' Cup Mile, Host would have to be supplemented for $200,000. Before the race, Pletcher had not committed on what the Melnyks might do in that regard.

Alinghi, a 4-year-old Australian-bred filly, was the lone female in the field while making her second start in the Northern Hemisphere. "She didn't like the give in the turf today," said jockey Edgar Prado. "She is a champion, though, and she will be back to fight another day."

The $2 exacta paid $399.20; the $2 trifecta paid $11,210.20; and the $2 superfecta paid $80,834.20.