05/20/2005 11:00PM

Zakocity goes to front for keeps in Schaefer


BALTIMORE - As soon as Zakocity secured a clear lead on a slow pace, his rivals were in big trouble.

Indeed, Zakocity, ridden by Jerry Bailey, used his early advantage to full capacity, gliding away to a 2 1/2-length triumph Saturday in the $100,000 at Pimlico.

Zakocity, owned by Paul Pompa Jr. and trained by Pat Reynolds, returned $6.80 after finishing 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.19 over a fast track.

Clays Awesome, an 11-1 shot, gave game chase for most of the way before settling for second, another 2 3/4 lengths before the late-running Royal Assault. Alumni Hall, the 2-1 favorite, was never a factor, finishing last in a field of eight older horses.

Past the finish line the first time, Zakocity already had cleared off after breaking sharply from post 7. After setting fractions of 24.07 and 47.37 seconds, he had plenty in reserve to turn back Clays Awesome.

"He's a speed kind of horse, and there wasn't much speed in there other than me," said Bailey. "That was Pat's instructions - go to the lead and control it as best I could."

"It means a lot when Jerry rides for a guy like me," said Reynolds, trainer of a midsized stable in New York. "I don't have a lot of stakes horses."

Zakocity, a Florida-bred by Precocity, now has won 5 of 27 starts. The $60,000 winner's share boosted his lifetime earnings to $645,970.

Robby Albarado, jockey of Alumni Hall, said he had "no horse."

"I don't know why," he said. "I'm really sorry that he didn't show up today."