Updated on 09/17/2011 1:59PM

Toasted takes Classic in romp

David Zenner
Toasted wins the Grade 2, $200,000 Classic at Arlington Park by 3 1/4 lengths over fellow Californian Street Theatre.

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - An hour before Saturday's , you could not see across the racetrack here, with low clouds and torrential rain blanketing the Arlington grounds. The trainer Laura de Seroux was concerned about severe weather - but not about its effect on Arlington's grass course.

And why would she be? Toasted, the European import de Seroux brought here from California for the Grade 2, $200,000 Classic, had won by three lengths over soft going last year in France, and the boggy conditions Saturday did not slow him at all. Moving strongly between horses on the far turn, Toasted accelerated in the stretch and made short work of seven rivals, winning the Classic by 3 1/4 lengths over fellow Californian Street Theatre.

"I was more concerned about the storm, because he has his quirks," said de Seroux, who trains Toasted for Sidney Port. "Soft turf, he lived on that over there."

The concern winning rider Rene Douglas had was the Classic's slow pace. Cool Conduc-tor, pulling hard in the opening quarter-mile, ran the first quarter in 24.72 seconds and a half in 51.02, as Old Deuteronomy pursued.

"I didn't want to move as soon as I did, but I was worried about the slow pace," Douglas said.

But Douglas does not make missteps in the Classic, which he won for the third straight year. Toasted was comfortable racing in traffic, and Douglas left him between horses as he moved up into position. Once there, Toasted gave Douglas a big kick, sweeping past Cool Conductor and drawing clear through the stretch.

Street Theatre ran on in the stretch to edge Cool Conductor for second.

Toasted, who paid $4.80 to win, ran 1 1/16 miles on soft turf in a glacial 1:50.91.

De Seroux said she would wait to decide whether Toasted would return in three weeks for the American Derby, but she expressed concern about the short break.

* Without a Doubt, the heavy favorite, won a head bob and the $40,000 Better Bee Stakes earlier Saturday. Owned by Richard Duchossois and trained by Chris Block, Without a Doubt beat Truman's Raider by a nose, with Chindi third and Fifteen Rounds last.