05/21/2011 2:00PM

Pimlico: Chinglish continues improvement in Murphy Stakes

Debra Roma
Chinglish finishes strongly under John Velazquez to win the Murphy.

Trainer Mark Hennig calls his 3-year-old Chinglish a slow-learner. But, after watching him win Saturday’s $100,000 James Murphy Stakes for 3-year-olds at Pimlico, Hennig said the son of War Front is finally “getting it together.”

Receiving a ground-saving trip from John Velazquez, Chinglish rallied past Humble and Hungry in deep stretch and drew clear to a 2 3/4-length victory in the Murphy. It was another 1 3/4 lengths back from Humble and Hungry to Master Dunker in third. Joe’s Blazing Aaron, the 8-5 favorite, faded to fifth after setting the early pace.

The win was the second in the last three starts for Chinglish, who lost the first three races of his career.

Over a “good” turf course that has been deadly to front-runners, Chinglish lay in fourth position down the backside while Joes Blazing Aaron set the pace chased by Humble and Hungry. Jockey Garrett Gomez sent Humble and Hungry after Joes Blazing Aaron around the far turn and made the lead inside the eighth pole.

But Velazquez swung Chinglish three wide leaving the quarter pole and though it took him a little while to get going, Chinglish blew past Humble and Hungry inside the sixteenth pole. Chinglish, owned by Jerry and Ronald Frankel, covered the mile in 1:40.06 and returned $19.60 to win.

“My horse handled it well,” Velazquez said of the off turf. “I was in a great position where I was – that’s what I did like about him, where I was – and when I asked him to go, it took him a little bit to get him going, but once I got him in the clear he kicked in very good."