05/18/2007 11:00PM

Sahara Heat captures Marine

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Sahara Heat, the favored Kentucky shipper, maintained a slim lead throughout the $151,200 Marine Stakes at Woodbine and won the Grade 3 race for 3-year-olds by 1 1/4 lengths under Fernando Jara.

Sahara Heat ($6.10) set dawdling fractions of 24.77 and 49.12 seconds while being pressed by Bilbo in the 1 1/16-mile race. Approval Rating stalked three wide in third until the quarter pole, where he joined Sahara Heat on the front end.

Sahara Heat held Approval Rating at bay through the stretch, completing the distance in 1:46.47. Angel of the House rallied inside to finish another neck back in third in the eight-horse field.

"We knew that he had some talent, and he showed it today," said Jara. "He was very comfortable the first part, and when I asked him, he responded very well."

It was the third consecutive victory and first stakes win for Sahara Heat, who banked $90,000 for Darley Stable and trainer Eoin Harty.