Updated on 09/18/2011 12:23AM

Kingship hangs on by nose in Classic

Benoit Photo
Kingship (#1 outside) battles back after being overtaken in the lane to win the Grade III $150,000 Arlington Classic at Arlington Park on Saturday.

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Kingship won the by a nose, but the horse to follow through the summer might be Proudinsky, whose head came up at just the wrong instance, costing him victory in the Grade 3, $150,000 turf race.

Kingship took the lead a couple of jumps into the race, while Proudinsky, making only his third start and first outside his native Germany, quickly fell back to last. But a furious stretch rally brought the pair together at the finish.

"I didn't feel him," said winning rider Robby Albarado of Proudinsky. "He was coming too fast."

Proudinsky took a sharp right turn just past the wire and dropped jockey Brice Blanc, but neither horse nor rider was injured.

"He broke a step slow, just like a European," said Blanc, who zigzagged through six of his seven rivals between the top of the stretch and the finish.

Proudinsky could go on to race in the Virginia Derby, which at 1 1/4 miles better fits his skill set. The 1 1/16 miles of the Arlington Classic, however, was perfect for Kingship, whose resume coming into Saturday was topped by a last-out maiden win at Churchill. But trainer Ronny Werner - whose son, Rowdy, saddled Kingship on Saturday - was impressed enough by his sharp turn of foot in his grass debut that he sent him to Arlington for a stakes try. And Kingship responded, carving out moderate fractions of 24.36 seconds for an opening quarter-mile, 48.99 for the half.

"I had a lot of horse left turning for home," said Albarado.

Racing into a stiff headwind in the stretch, Kingship still finished well, stopping the timer in 1:43.57 on a turf course labeled good. Kingship paid $12 to win, while 43-1 shot Arbuckle Bandit held off Creative Force for the show spot. Storm Treasure, the 6-5 favorite, checked in sixth.

"I never had a chance to save any ground," said his jockey, Shaun Bridgmohan.