Updated on 09/17/2011 10:46PM

Revved Up gets first graded stakes at age 7

Benoit Photo
Revved Up cruises to a two-length victory in the $197,750 Stars and Stripes Breeders' Cup Turf at Arlington Park before a holiday weekend crowd of 12,868 on Sunday.

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - The gray 7-year-old gelding Revved Up first ran in a graded stakes race during the fall of 2000, but it took until Sunday at Arlington Park for him to win one.

After a single-start 2004 campaign, it would've been fair to believe Revved Up had nowhere to go but down, if he was going anywhere at all. But 2005 has been a renaissance year for Revved Up, who won Sunday for the third time in four starts, beating Cloudy's Knight by two lengths in the Grade 3, $200,000 .

The breakthrough surely pleased his connections, Charlotte Weber's Live Oak Plantation and trainer Christophe Clement, but neither of them were on hand to witness it. Shannon Ritter, formerly Elliot Walden's assistant and only recently out on her own, saddled and unsaddled Revved Up after galloping him after his arrival here from New York on Thursday.

Brice Blanc, who trainer Bobby Frankel earlier in the week thought he might be getting to ride sixth-place finisher Epicentre, rode Revved Up to victory. Blanc's task consisted of sitting chilly in second as the overmatched pace-setter, Gwaiher, set slow-ish fractions of 25.27 seconds for a quarter-mile, 49.56 for a half, 1:15.19 for three quarters, and 1:39.86 for a mile. But by the mile, Gwaihir was swallowed up by Revved Up, who got first run on Cloudy's Knight on the far turn, and held him clear through the stretch run.

"They kind of just ran around there the way they started," said Cloudy's Knight's trainer, Frank Kirby.

The betting public pretty much had this one figured out. Revved Up paid $7 to win as the narrow 5-2 favorite over Cloudy's Knight, with fourth-choice Swagger Stick third and third-choice Rochester fourth. Revved Up, by With Approval and bred by Live Oak, was timed in 2:28.29 for one and one-half miles on firm turf.

* Earlier in the day, Fifteen Round scored a sharp win over Appalachian Thunder in the $40,000 Better Bee Stakes. Fifteen Rounds paid $5.80 as the favorite, and was timed 1:08.80, the fastest six-furlong time so far this meet.