05/01/2008 12:00AM

Run Away and Hide wins Kentucky BC


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Trainer Ronny Werner expressed concern heading into Thursday's Grade 3, $163,000 Kentucky Stakes at Churchill Downs that his juvenile colt, Run Away and Hide, could regress racing on 13 days' rest off a quick debut victory at Keeneland on April. 18.

In the end, it didn't matter. Racing with the same energy he displayed in winning over Keeneland's Polytrack surface, Run Away and Hide pressed early leader Merkel early through a quarter mile in 21.71 seconds before advancing on the turn and drawing off to a 2 1/2-length victory over Garden District. He raced five furlongs over a fast track in 57.56 seconds, paying $5.20 as the favorite.

Winning jockey Robby Albarado, who rode Run Away and Hide to his maiden victory last month, said he didn't overthink strategy. "Five-eighths of a mile, there isn't much to it - go fast," he said.

Run Away and Hide's victory, which came in the first graded stakes race for juveniles this year, was similar to his maiden victory last month. As in that race, he broke from the outside and left his opponents behind with his acceleration on the turn and through the stretch.

Garden District, one of two fillies in the race, made a bold three-wide move on the turn to threaten after being bumped at the start, but was outquickened by the winner in the stretch. She finished 2 1/2 lengths clear of Dream of Kaylee, a first-time starter who rallied in the closing yards to catch Merkel for the show position despite racing greenly.

Essenceofthemoon and Mine All Mine completed the order of finish, which was reduced to six when Dicey Riley and Final Judgment were scratched.

Run Away And Hide, a 2-year-old son of City Zip - who finished second in this race in 2000 - picked up $103,429 in winning the Kentucky Stakes, improving his lifetime earnings to $134,684 for owners Ronald Kirk, John Bates and Michael Riordan.