09/21/2013 7:14PM

Laurel Park: Immortal Eyes wins De Francis Dash at age 8

Maryland Jockey Club
Eight-year-old Immortal Eyes went over $1 million in earnings with his De Francis Dash victory.

This is the seventh summer Immortal Eyes has been knocking around the East Coast. The 8-year-old gelding is aging well. Second in the 2011 De Francis Dash and third in last year’s edition, Immortal Eyes broke through in a big way Saturday at Laurel Park with a 6 3/4 lengths front-running blowout in the $350,000 De Francis.

His 17th victory from 47 starts was worth $210,000 and made a millionaire of Immortal Eyes, a son of Greatness owned by the Robert Abbo Racing Stable and trained by Damon Dilodovico. Travis Dunkelberger rode the winner, breaking sharply and going straight to the front. Immortal Eyes, who set splits of 22.31 seconds for his first quarter-mile and 45.13 for the opening half, took things from there, opening up at the top of the stretch and running alone to the finish over a track turned sloppy by mid-card rain.

“Travis and I made a decision. We would be in front and they would have to come and get us,” said Dilodovico, who called the victory a career-best. “He’s kind of a temperamental horse, so it’s good when he gets out in the clear and you don’t have to fuss with him too much.”

Immortal Eyes won for just the second time in eight wet-track starts, but he has finished third or better in six such races. He paid $21.60 to win and was timed in 1:08.47 for six furlongs over sloppy, sealed dirt. Saturday’s Charm was a distant second, two lengths in front of Service for Ten, who also is trained by Dilodovico. Sage Valley, the 8-5 favorite, broke slowly, raced wide, and finished last of seven. Broad Rule and Ben’s Cat were scratched.