Updated on 09/17/2011 11:04AM

Special Ring wires Eddie Read


DEL MAR, Calif. - Two years ago in the , Special Ring bolted, ran off to a needless long lead, and tired to finish last. He was gelded before he ran again.

Since then, he had won five times in 11 starts, and had come tantalizingly close to winning a graded stakes. He waited until Sunday, though, in the 30th running of the Grade 1 Eddie Read, to run the race of his life.

In a dominating, front-running performance, Special Ring led every step of the way and cruised home a five-length winner while smashing Del Mar's course record for 1 1/8 miles on turf.

Del Mar's turf is much shorter and firmer than in year's past, and Special Ring was the greatest beneficiary during the first week of the meet. He was timed in 1:45.87, wiping Al Mamoon's 1986 record of 1:46.60 from the books.

Special Ring ($8.20) set fractions of 23.90 seconds, :47.46, and 1:11.03 for the first six furlongs of the $400,000 race. When he turned on the jets and ran his final three furlongs in less than 35 seconds, his five rivals had no chance.

The other five were within a half-length of one another at the wire. Decarchy was second, a neck in front of Irish Warrior. They were followed by Fateful Dream, Mister Acpen, and finally Redattore, the 6-5 favorite and the winner of the Read in 2001.

What a difference two years made.

"You don't know what I went through with this horse," said Julio Canani, who trains Special Ring. "For six months after we gelded him, he didn't realize he was a gelding. He's got so much ability."

Special Ring now owns two turf course records at Del Mar. He set the mile mark of 1:32.72 in last year's Wickerr Handicap, his lone previous stakes win. He was second in the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile, and Grade 2 American Handicap, at Hollywood Park earlier this year.

David Flores rode Special Ring, a 6-year-old son of Nureyev who races for Art and Jack Preston's Prestonwood Farm LLC.

* Earlier in the day, Tucked Away ($26.80) rallied from last to first to beat eight rivals in the $100,000 Fleet Treat Stakes, for California-bred 3-year-old fillies at seven furlongs. Tucked Away was timed in 1:23.34 on a fast main track. Gary Stevens rode the daughter of Unusual Heat for trainer Paddy Gallagher.