09/27/2002 11:00PM

Regal Sanction upsets Pegasus


Regal Sanction took the lead from This Guns for Hire in midstretch and dug in to hold off the fast-closing No Parole to win the Grade 2, $350,000 Pegasus Handicap by a head Friday night at The Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N.J.

Trained by James Jerkens, Regal Sanction entered the race with only 1 win and 6 seconds in 11 lifetime starts. He was sent off as the fifth choice, at 6-1, in the field of six 3-year-olds.

"I had a very good trip," said Jose Santos, who rode Regal Sanction. "I saved ground, and from the quarter pole home I knew he would win because he was very strong. The other horse came to him but he never went by. My horse just kept digging in. I would have won if they had gone around again."

Regal Sanction ran the 1 1/8 miles on a sloppy track in 1:49.80 and paid $14.60. No Parole, at 5-1, completed an $86.60 exacta. This Guns for Hire finished third, another 4 1/2 lengths back. The trifecta paid $346.

Regal Sanction's victory raised his earnings to $347,932 for owners Susan and John Moore.

Trump Marina, sent off as the 7-5 favorite, broke on top and led for almost a half-mile before caving in to pressure from This Guns for Hire. Trump Marina finished fourth, beaten more than 13 lengths. In his last race, on Sept. 2 at The Meadowlands, he had won the $50,000 Paterson Stakes by 9 1/2 lengths.

"He was fighting to the half-mile pole and he just quit running," said Trump Marina's rider, Eibar Coa. "They'll take a look at him to see what happened, but he was not the same horse that I rode last time."

Florida Derby and Blue Grass Stakes winner Harlan's Holiday was entered but scratched early in the day because of the wet weather. Harlan's Holiday ran instead in the Jockey Club Gold Cup Saturday at Belmont.

In Friday's other stakes, all for $50,000 purses:

* Gold I.D., the longest shot on the board, won the Matt Scudder, paying $28.20 to win.

* Sam Eye Am ($10.40), ridden by Santos and trained by Gary Contessa, won the Miss Liberty, which was switched from turf to dirt, covering the mile in 1:38.

* Ghostly Numbers, trained by Michael Trombetta with Jorge Chavez up, won the William Livingston, paying $7.80.

* Title Contender, ridden by Chavez and trained by Stan Hough, won the off-the-turf World Appeal for 2-year-olds and paid $6.20.