Updated on 09/17/2011 10:06AM

Midas Eyes displays golden touch


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Midas Eyes proved he was more than just a traveling companion for Empire Maker.

Making his first start since being purchased privately by trainer Bobby Frankel and owner Edmund Gann for $450,000 last summer, Midas Eyes blew away seven rivals by 9 1/4 lengths Saturday to win the Grade 3, $150,000 at Gulfstream Park. His final time of 1:21.06 for seven furlongs was a stakes record, eclipsing the previous mark of 1:21.60 established by Seeking the Gold in 1988.

Posse rallied for second, 4 1/2 lengths ahead of Whywhywhy, the 7-5 favorite.

Midas Eyes's victory came 90 minutes after Empire Maker won the Grade 1, $1 million Florida Derby by 9 3/4 lengths for Frankel and Juddmonte Farms.

Midas Eyes not only was making his first start for new connections, but also was running for the first time since last Aug. 17, when he won his maiden by eight lengths at Calder. James Hatchett trained Midas Eyes then.

Frankel said Midas Eyes's knees were open and he wasn't traveling well when he first got him so he gave him time off. Midas Eyes began to come around in January and he even worked once in company with Empire Maker.

"I knew he was fit enough, he trained really well at Hollywood and I knew he was going to run good," Frankel said. "I didn't want to waste it on an allowance race. I thought if he broke good he had a real good chance."

Under Jerry Bailey, Midas Eyes broke alertly and was up on the pace along with former stablemate Massive. The two were a half-length apart on the lead through fractions of 21.96 seconds and 44.33. Leaving the three-eighths pole, Midas Eyes pulled away from both Massive and Whywhywhy and was kept to his task by Bailey through the stretch. Midas Eyes returned $10.60 to win.

"I was telling Bobby that I felt a little silly at the wire," Bailey said. "I kept thinking I was hearing someone right behind me so I kept driving and then I looked around at the wire and I was 10 lengths in front."

Frankel does not have Triple Crown aspirations for Midas Eyes, a son of Touch Gold. Frankel mentioned races like the $150,000 Derby Trial at Churchill Downs on April 26 or the $150,000 Withers Stakes at Aqueduct on May 3 as a possible next start for Midas Eyes.

Patrick Biancone, the trainer Whywhywhy, said his horse was just beat by a better animal.

"He gave six pounds to the winner and the winner was too good for him," Biancone said.

In other stakes races:

* Bailey won his third stakes of the afternoon, guiding a Woodmoon to a three-quarter-length victory over Regency Park in the $52,700 Flag Down Stakes. It was 3 1/4 lengths back to Free of Love, the 6-5 favorite.

The Flag Down, originally scheduled for nine furlongs on turf, was run at that same distance on the main track. Woodmoon covered the nine furlongs in 1:50.68 and paid $11.20.

* Dance the Slew made the lead entering the clubhouse turn, repelled a pace challenge from Crystal Sea and drew clear to a 6 1/4-length victory in the $52,700 Marshua's River Stakes. The race, originally carded for one mile on the turf, was run at a mile and 70 yards over the main track.

Sparkling Ava, the 2-1 favorite, rallied for second, 2 1/4 lengths ahead of Bay Street Gal.

Dance the Slew ran the mile and 70 yards in 1:42.44 and returned $8.