09/24/2011 7:03PM

Parx: Royal Currier wins in track-record time

Alyssa Spakowski/Equi-Photo
Royal Currier, with Stewart Elliott riding, wins the Gallant Bob.

BENSALEM, Pa. - The last time Royal Currier started in a dirt race at Parx Racing, he ran six furlongs in 1:07.62 and was in front by two lengths. The problem that day was the Philmont Stakes was seven furlongs. Royal Currier weakened in the final furlong and was beaten one-half length by Little Drama.

Saturday, for the first time since that April 26 race, Royal Currier returned to Parx and ran six furlongs in 1:07.51. Not only was it good enough to win the $250,000 Gallant Bob Stakes, it established a track record for the distance, eclipsing the mark of 1:07.61 set by Indian Way in 2009. Parx's main track was labeled fast for the Gallant Bob after beginning the day muddy.
Under Stewart Elliott, Royal Currier made the lead after the opening quarter and then widened his advantage at every call en route to a 3 3/4-length victory over 3-2 favorite Poseidon's Warrior. It was a half-length back to Indiano in third. He was followed in the order of finish by Wine Police, He's Speightful, Bindy and Deputy Fling.

The win was the seventh from 16 starts for Royal Currier, a 3-year-old gelded son of Red Bullet owned by Mat Stables and trained by Patricia Farro. It may also have earned Royal Currier a spot in the Breeders' Cup Sprint on Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs.

"It's possible," said Michael Farro, assistant to his Patricia Farro, his wife.

Though Royal Currier was sent off the second-longest shot in the field at 18-1 - he returned $39.80 - Michael Farro said he wasn't surprised by the outcome.

"We thought he had a chance. We didn't think it was impossible," Farro said. "He ran his two best races over this track. He ran 1:07 and three a couple of races ago - how much faster could you go? - and against a nice horse. The seven-eighths got him beat."

Saturday, Elliott said Farro instructed him to get Royal Currier to the front, and though he had to run an opening quarter in 21.59 seconds to do it, Royal Currier did have the lead. He opened up a one-length advantage over He's Speightful after a half-mile in 43.43 seconds and had a four-length lead through five furlongs in 54.96 seconds.

Elliott gave him three taps of the whip in the stretch.

"The plan was to let run out of there, and if we made the lead fine. If not he's going be right there," Elliott said. "I know he likes the front end, and he made it easy. He was rolling, but he was doing it really nice. He made me feel confident the whole way and he ran great."

**  In the $75,000 Roanoke Stakes for Pennsylvania-breds, Gunfighter cruised to an easy, 3 3/4-length victory under Garret Gomez. Layers, a 24-1 shot rallied for second.

Gunfighter, a 4-year-old son of Iron Deputy owned by Susan and John Moore and trained by Steve Klesaris, was wheeling back one week after finishing third in the Charlie Hess Stakes at Monmouth Park where he finished third.

Gunfighter ($4) covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.32 over a muddy track.