Saturday, September 8, 2007 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . September 8, 2007 . . . Istan made his first start at Turfway a good one, taking the Turfway Park Fall Championship (G3) by 3 1/2 lengths to earn his first graded stakes win.
Spotsgone angled to the rail and the lead after breaking from post 4, while Istan, breaking from the rail, settled just behind and to his outside. Gouldings Green found a comfortable spot a length or two back. The three held that order through slow fractions of :25.19 and :49.05, awaiting the quarter pole, where Istan came to Spotsgone and then drew off entering the stretch. Spotsgone stayed in for second, three parts of a length ahead of Gouldings Green. Final time for the one-mile course was 1:38.81.
"I didn't have very much to do with it," said winning jockey Larry Melancon, riding for trainer Bill Mott. "I just laid second, didn't want to get too far out. I knew he [Spotsgone] was the only speed in the race, and my horse has a little bit of speed, so I just kept him in my sights. I clucked to him and he took off."
Istan began his career in France, where he earned three wins in seven starts and finished third in the listed Prix de Pontarme at Longchamp in 2005. He was returned to the United States that year. The 5-year-old son of Gone West now has 8 wins, 1 second, and 1 third in 18 career starts for earnings of $289,591. Bred in Kentucky by Dario Hinojosa, Istan is owned by Darpat S. L. Stables.
Completing the order of finish were Desert Wheat, High Blues, and Cielo Gold. Istan was the 6-5 favorite in the Fall Championship and paid $4.40, $2.80, and $2.40.
A disagreement among Teuflesberg's owners led his connections to scratch the horse, who had been expected to make his first start against older horses in the Fall Championship. Barbican also was scratched.
Racing continues Sunday at 1:10 pm.