05/11/2003 11:00PM

LeRoy: Total Impact gets perfect trip


Total Impact won his first stakes in the U.S. with a perfect trip in the $150,000 Mervyn LeRoy Handicap.

A Group 1 stakes winner in Chile in 2001, Total Impact had finished second in the San Bernardino Handicap at Santa Anita last month.

Ridden by Mike Smith, Total Impact ($6.60) won the Grade 2 Mervyn LeRoy by two lengths and ran the 1 1/16 miles in 1:40.88.

He was third early, stalking the pace of Wooden Phone and Palmeiro, who set early fractions of 23 and 45.63 seconds. Smith guided Total Impact closer to the front with a wide rally on the final turn, and Total Impact turned back a challenge from Sunday Break in early stretch and pulled clear late.

Fleetstreet Dancer closed from fifth to finish second, four lengths clear of Piensa Sonando, who was last early in the field of eight. Sunday Break, who made a run on the final turn, faded to finish fourth, and was followed by Wooden Phone, Lethal Instrument, Bring Home Thegold, and Palmeiro.

The 5-year-old Total Impact races for Sultan Mohammed Saud al Kabeer and trainer Laura de Seroux.