08/23/2009 11:00PM

Odds-on Parko wins Marathon photo


FERNDALE, Calif. - Turf specialist Parko ($3.20) edged pacesetting Power Star after a stretch-long duel to capture the $25,150 Humboldt County Marathon in the final race of the Humboldt County Fair's 2009 meeting Sunday.

Power Star, under James Wooten Jr., broke sharply and controlled the pace nicely in the 1 5/8-mile race that sees runners pass the finish line four times. Parko was content to sit off the pace early but moved into contention at the one-mile mark.

Under a confident ride by Nikeela Black, he saved ground most of the way before swinging out to make his winning move. He took the lead in the lane, withstanding a strong effort from Power Star, who refused to yield. The winning margin was a nose and the final time 2:45.81 with Warren's Jack V., who got away awkwardly, third another 3 3/4 lengths back.

"This horse is a turf horse, but he loves distance," said winning owner-trainer John Martin. "The rider rode him perfectly, exactly as I told her."

The victory, worth $13,750 was the fifth of the year and 10th of the 5-year-old French-bred gelding's career. His career earnings are now $119,996.