07/18/2010 7:55PM

Marlang wins first stakes since 2008


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Two years ago, Marlang was one of the top 3-year-olds in Canada. This year, Marlang is showing the same ability in turf marathons in California.

In Sunday's $100,000 Sunset Handicap at Hollywood Park, Marlang ($6.80) led throughout the 1 1/2 miles on turf and held off a late threat from Champ Pegasus to win by a length. Sent off favored, Marlang was timed in 2:25.46. The Sunset Handicap was the feature race on the final day of the spring-summer meeting.

Jockey Joel Rosario, who clinched the riding title for the spring-summer meeting earlier on the program, had Marlang in front by 2 1/2 lengths after a quarter-mile, a leading margin the 5-year-old horse maintained for the first mile. Marlang set early fractions of 24.07 and 48.12 seconds.

"[Rosario] had to ask him a bit from the gate and he was faster than I wanted, but then he relaxed," said winning trainer Neil Drysdale.

Champ Pegasus got within a length at the eighth pole but could not close the margin any further. Unusual Suspect finished third in the field of six.

The Grade 2 Sunset Handicap was Marlang's first stakes win since the Group 3 Saranac Stakes at Saratoga in August 2008. Earlier that month, Marlang won the Breeders' Stakes at Woodbine. Owned by Gustav Schickedanz, Marlang has won 5 of 15 starts and $558,212.

Drysdale said Marlang will be considered for the $200,000 Del Mar Handicap at 1 3/8 miles on turf on Aug. 29.