Runaway Stream was up in the final strides to post a neck victory in the $100,000 Polynesian Handicap at Pimlico Race Course yesterday.
The 4-year-old colt got through a rail opening in the stretch and was just able to nail the pace-setter, Fiftysevenvette.
"I didn't want to come around all those horses and lose all that ground," said Rick Wilson, who rode the winner. "My colt ran a game effort."
The 1 1/16-mile Polynesian, second of two graded races at the Pimlico meet, shaped up as a very competitive race, with Private School the lukewarm, 3-1 favorite in a field of eight older horses. With a quarter-mile left, Private School moved alongside Fiftysevenvette before flattening out; then, Runaway Stream launched his bid.
"This horse always runs his race," said Larry Murray, who trains the colt for Howard and Sondra Bender. "The only two times he's missed a check he's had an excuse."
The winning time of 1 minute, 41 2/5 seconds was the fastest time of the meet for the distance.
* The Arc de Triomphe, arguably Europe's most prestigious race, will be simulcast from Longchamp in Paris to Pimlico and Laurel for the second straight year. Last year at this time, when Saumarez won the Arc for the Summa Stable of Bruce McNall and Wayne Gretzky, racing was being conducted at Laurel.
A confusing aspect remains this year: Saddlecloth numbers differ from program numbers (note separate listings for each in today's Pimlico Line in The Sun). The reason: Maryland law requires coupling of horses of the same owner, even when the originating track does not.
The Arc leads off a marathon program that begins at 11:30 a.m. and will exceed six hours. Late on the 14-race card, the $500,000 Turf Classic simulcast from Belmont Park directly precedes the "live" Sir Ivor Stakes.
NOTES: With just 2 days left in the meet, the Pimlico jockey and trainer races are still very tight. Top jockeys: Mike Luzzi (28 winners), Edgar Prado (26), Mario Pino (24). Top trainers: Carlos Garcia (13), Vinnie Blengs (12), Dale Capuano (12), Frannie Campitelli (11). . . . Dontcloseyoureyes notched his fifth straight win when taking yesterday's ninth in 1:09 2/5, best time of the meet for 6 furlongs. . . . Southern Appeal won the 1987 Polynesian for the Benders. . . . Early daily double wagering is on races 2 and 3 today. . . . Jet Ski Lady, an outsider in the Arc, was bred in Maryland by Ryehill Farm. . . . Trainer Joanne Hughes has been suspended 15 days because 1 of her runners tested positive for guaifenesin, an expectorant. . . . Unbridled meets Summer Squall and 4 others today in the 1 1/8 -mile Fayette Handicap at Keeneland Race Course. No Pimlico/Laurel simulcast. . . . Lite Light, one of the nation's top 3-year-old fillies, will miss the Nov. 2 Breeders' Cup. She has been given a rest because of a bleeding problem. . . . Safely Kept won the Meadowlands Budweiser Breeders' Cup Friday night in her last start before the Nov. 2 Breeders' Cup Sprint.