Lexington, KY (Sports Network) - The Cliff's Edge won a stretch duel
with Lion Heart to capture Saturday's running of the Blue Grass Stakes
The time for the 1 1/8-mile Kentucky Derby prep was 1:49.42.
It was the first win of 2004 for The Cliff's Edge, who had captured
three of his five starts as a two-year-old. The son of Gulch finished
third in his last start at the Florida Derby last month.
The Cliff's Edge, ridden by Shane Sellers, was well off the pace set by
Lion Heart, Limehouse and Preachinatthebar. Lion Heart, the 4-5
favorite, pulled away heading into the stretch as Sellers began his move.
Coming from the outside, The Cliff's Edge pulled even with Lion Heart and
the two were neck and neck for a few strides before The Cliff's Edge moved
ahead and finished a half-length in front.
Limehouse finished six lengths off the pace in third.
The victory was the third in the Blue Grass Stakes for trainer Nick Zito,
who also guided Strike the Gold to the winner's circle in 1991 and Halory
Hunter in 1998. Strike the Gold went on to give Zito the first of his two
Kentucky Derby wins.
Zito also has another Derby contender in Birdstone, who was scratched from
the Blue Grass on Thursday because of a high white blood cell count.
The Cliff's Edge paid $13.40, $4.40 and $3.00. Lion Heart, who had won
three of his previous four lifetime starts and finished second in his
lone 2004 outing at the San Rafael Stakes last month, returned $3.00 and $2.40.
Limehouse paid $3.40 to show.