09/03/2007 12:00AM

Timber Reserve by neck in Pennsylvania Derby


Timber Reserve held off a late charge from Xchanger to win the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby for 3-year-olds by a neck Monday at Philadelphia Park.

It was the first time the Pennsylvania Derby purse reached $1 million.

Timber Reserve ($13.40), one of the least experienced horses in the field, dug in to earn his third win in six career starts.

Javier Castellano was aboard for trainer John Kimmel as Timber Reserve ran the 1 1/8 miles in 1:47.67 on the fast track to equal the stakes records of Western Playboy in 1989 and Rock and Roll in 1998.

Timber Reserve settled second behind the pacesetting Cable Boy. Rounding the final turn, Timber Reserve took charge, and he outlasted Xchanger.

"I was very confident in the horse," Castellano said. "He had been very sharp in the morning and he's a special horse. I had a dream trip. The outside horse [Cable Boy] had more speed, so I let him go and sat right behind him.

"When I let him go, he finished very strong. I asked him for one move and that's exactly what he gave me."

Timber Reserve was making only his second start of the year, having returned with an allowance win at Belmont Park on July 21.

Kimmel said he thought about the 1 1/4-mile Travers Stakes at Saratoga but opted to wait for this race.

"We felt the mile and a quarter off his limited experience against the big boys was probably unwarranted," said Kimmel. "We waited the extra time even though it became a six-week interval between races. He rewarded us with a big, game effort."

Zanjero, the winner by a nose in the West Virginia Derby last time out, wove his way through traffic to get third.

Slew's Tizzy was fourth followed by Sam P., Imawildandcrazyguy, Bwana Bull, Cowtown Cat, Moyer's Pond, and entrymates Cable Boy and Get Serious.

Smart Enough sets course record

Smart Enough ($9.80) won the $200,000 Turf Monster Handicap by 1o1/4 lengths over Heros Reward with Gaff, the 9-5 favorite, third.

The time was a course record 55.53 seconds for the five furlongs on firm footing.

Joe Bravo was aboard the 4-year-old Smart Enough, trained by John R.S. Fisher.

Smart Enough improved his record to 8 for 12 as he bounced back from an eighth-place finish in the 1o1/16-mile Oceanport Stakes at Monmouth Park.