Updated on 09/17/2011 10:50AM

Lismore Knight along in time

Benoit & Associates
J. J. Pletcher's Lismore Knight saved ground early and angled out for the drive en route to a three-quarter length victory in the Grade II $175,000 Arlington Classic, presented by Woodford Reserve, Saturday at Arlington Park.

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Everyone forgot to keep Remind honest on the lead, but Lismore Knight still nailed him in deep stretch to win the $175,000 Saturday at Arlington.

Remind, a tough front-runner from the Bill Mott barn, waltzed through most of the Grade 3 Classic unchallenged. But under a wonderful ride from Rene Douglas, Lismore Knight ($6.40) saved ground on both turns, knifed between horses coming into the stretch, and ran down Remind late to win by three-quarters of a length. Good Day Too finished another half-length back in third.

"I knew they were going really slow," said Douglas, who let Lismore Knight race along in fourth for much of the 1 1/16-mile grass race. "I knew they like to keep this horse tucked in behind horses and make one run."

Which is exactly what Douglas did. Lismore Knight, who shipped here Thursday from trainer Todd Pletcher's Belmont barn, settled into a stalking position as Remind and Cornelio Velasquez went a quarter-mile in 24.32 seconds and a half-mile in a pedestrian 48.86. Distinguishable and Good Day Too - one of two first-time European imports in the race - bottled Lismore Knight up coming into the far turn. Douglas said he could tell at the half-mile pole Distinguishable wouldn't be a threat, and he timed his move to outmaneuver Good Day Too.

"I knew I had to ride hard the last furlong. They had horse left," Douglas said. "For a second, I didn't know if I was going to get there."

Get there he did, and Lismore Knight, timed in 1:42.73 over firm going, had the look of a horse that might be a factor later this summer in the Grade 1 Secretariat.

"The only question with him is can he go a mile and a quarter," said J.J. Pletcher, Todd Pletcher's father and a co-owner of Lismore Knight. "He's acting right now like he can."

European, the other European import, was the race's disappointment. European balked at loading into the starting gate, broke slowly, and never got into the race.

"There never was anything under me," said jockey Shane Sellers. "He did everything right until they asked him to go into the gate."