04/04/2009 11:00PM

It's a Bird romps in Oaklawn Handicap


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - It's a Bird became a millionaire on Saturday, when he rolled to a six-length win over Southern California invader Runforthedoe in the Grade 2, $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap. It was owner Edmund Gann's third win in the mile and an eighth race, which he captured in 2003 with Medaglia d'Oro and in 2004 with Peace Rules.

It's a Bird ($6) broke well and stalked pacesetter Jonesboro through fractions of 23.37, 46.72, and 1:10.62. It's a Bird overtook the leader in the stretch and powered home to cover the distance on a fast track 1:48.96.

"He kept going," said Julien Leparoux, who was aboard It's a Bird for trainer Marty Wolfson. "He ran like he did in the Sunshine Millions. He was on the bridle all the way."

It's a Bird won the $1 million Sunshine Millions Classic on the front end on Jan. 24, then one start later was third to Macho Again and Secret Getaway in the Grade 2 New Orleans Handicap that was run on a wet track. Wolfson said he liked how things set up early in the Oaklawn.

"I knew he could outrun Secret Getaway on a fast track and when Honest Man took back, I was really happy about that," said Wolfson, who has yet to determine next-race plans for It's a Bird.

It's a Bird earned $300,000 for the win, which was his 10th from 30 starts. He has now earned $1,172,885.

Jonesboro ran on well through the lane for third. Secret Getaway finished fourth.