09/05/2005 12:00AM

Laity runs away with Cradle Stakes

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River Downs
Laity, ridden by Corey Lanerie, romps to an 11 3/4-length victory in the $200,000 Cradle Stakes at River Downs on Monday.

Frank Brothers trains arguably the top 2-year-old in North America in unbeaten First Samurai. Monday, Brothers unveiled a highly capable backup when Laity, ridden by Corey Lanerie, romped to an 11 3/4-length victory in the $200,000 , the annual highlight of the summer meet at River Downs.

"You can never get enough good 2-year-olds," Brothers said.

Laity, a homebred colt by Pulpit, finished 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.60 over a fast track and returned $10 as third choice in a field of eight 2-year-olds.

Dawn of War, the 8-5 favorite, held off Acts Like a King, the top local hope, by a length when finishing second. The order of finish was completed by Warrior Within, Spotsgone, Pipa Caliente, Rocket Beauty, and Groovy Devil.

Laity broke sharply from his inside post and set fractions of 23.60 seconds, 47, and 1:10.80. He led by six lengths at the furlong pole and was kept to a stiff drive by Lanerie.

The Cradle victory was the second for Claiborne and Brothers, who teamed to win the 1996 running with Haint. Brothers also has had two runner-up finishers in the River showcase.

Dell Hancock, whose family owns Claiborne, said Brothers long has maintained that Laity would improve with distance. Laity finished second in his career debut at Churchill Downs before winning a one-mile maiden race at Arlington Park in his lone subsequent start before the Cradle.

Hancock said Laity could show up next in the Oct. 8 Lane's End Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland, although that decision depends heavily on what Brothers and owner Bruce Lunsford decide for First Samurai.