Updated on 09/17/2011 2:15PM

Quest Star repeats in Pan American

Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTO
Quest Star #3 with Pat Day riding wins the $200,000 Pan American Handicap at Gulfstream Park for the 2nd year in a row.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Quest Star proved he is as durable as he is talented Saturday, successfully defending his title with a half-length victory over the 7-5 favorite, Request for Parole, in the 1 1/2-mile at Gulfstream Park.

Quest Star led throughout to upset Man From Wicklow in the 2003 Pan Am, and it was the same Man From Wicklow he chased while saving ground during the opening mile on Saturday. Quest Star slipped inside the tiring leader to take command midway around the final turn, drew well clear entering the stretch, then was fully extended to withstand Request for Parole.

Request for Parole raced within easy striking distance, came a bit wide into the stretch, then finished best of all once he settled in for the drive, gaining steadily on the winner at the end. Megantic finished third following an eventful trip.

I Believe I Can Fly, Charge, Joey Blueeyes, and Man From Wicklow rounded out the order of finish.

Quest Star, ridden to victory by Pat Day, paid $5.40 after covering the distance in 2:26.46 seconds over a firm course. The time was two seconds faster than his final clocking in 2003.

"He's such a durable horse. They don't make them like him any more," said Elliott Walden, who trains Quest Star for the Mansell Stables LLC. "This horse ran 10 times last year and 25 races in his career. He's just remarkable. He loves this course, and Pat rode a perfect race."

Day echoed Walden's sentiments.

"It's pretty remarkable when a horse can win a race like this two years in a row," said Day.

Walden has no immediate plans for Quest Star other than to say he will not run during the upcoming Keeneland meeting.

"Keeneland is the only place he runs poorly," said Walden. "We'll just regroup with him and see how the year goes."