07/31/2007 12:00AM

Yellowstone wins Gordon at Goodwood

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Yellowstone presented his St. Leger credentials as he landed the Group 3 Gordon Stakes on Tuesday, opening day of Glorious Goodwood's important five-day meeting.

Yellowstone, a son of Rock of Gibraltar trained by Aidan O'Brien, needed a bit of luck to take the $101,000, 1 1/2-mile race for 3-year-olds, as Aqaleem, co-favored with Yellowstone at 5-2, was blocked by both the winner and the eventual third-place finisher, Raincoat, throughout the next-to-last furlong. When free, Aqaleem and jockey Richard Hills could not quite find the necessary acceleration as Yellowstone and his rider, John Murtagh, held on by a neck, with Raincoat three-quarters of a length farther behind.

The winning time on good ground was a pedestrian 2:40.69, thanks to the slow pace set by fifth-place Lion Sands.

Winning for the first time this year in his seventh start of the season, Yellowstone is now just 2 for 10 lifetime, having been blanked since winning his maiden in his 2-year-old debut. Eighth in the Epsom Derby, he was third in the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot before improving against older horses to be fourth in the 1 1/4-mile Group 1 Eclipse Stakes on July 7.

It may be time for the European Pattern Race Committee to upgrade the Gordon to Group 2 status, as this good renewal follows last year's race, which was won by the subsequent St. Leger winner, Sixties Icon, while the 2003 and 2004 editions went to multiple group race winners Phoenix Reach and Maraahel.

* Later on the same card, the Peter Chapple-Hyam-trained Tariq followed up on his Group 3 Jersey Stakes victory at Royal Ascot with a win in the Group 2, $303,000 Lennox Stakes, defeating the 5-2 choice, Asset, by 1 1/4 lengths. The 7-2 Tariq covered the seven furlongs in 1:26.93.