Pants On Fire draws clear late in Ack Ack

Pants On Fire Wins Ack AckIt came more than two years late, but Pants On Fire finally found the Churchill Downs winner’s circle.

Ninth as the 8-1 second choice in the 2011 Kentucky Derby, the 5-year-old Pants On Fire rolled to victory Saturday night in the 21st running of the Grade 3, $110,700 Ack Ack Handicap at Churchill. Paco Lopez was aboard for owners George and Lori Hall and trainer Kelly Breen.

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Rating kindly from just off the pace through the opening stages of the one-turn mile, Pants On Fire overtook the 2-1 favorite, Taptowne, inside the eighth pole before finishing 2 3/4 lengths to the good. He paid $7 as second choice after finishing in a stakes-record 1:33.78 over a fast track. Taptowne held second and Good Morning Diva was third in a field of eight older horses.

Pants On Fire had only one prior start at Churchill, and that was in the Derby.

“This was nice,” said Breen. “We’ll probably go straight into the Breeders’ Cup Mile now, then maybe over to Japan for a race after that. They’ve been kind of hinting around at us coming over there, and that could be fun.”

Pants On Fire, a Kentucky-bred by Jump Start, now has won 8 of 22 career starts. He spotted his rivals 3 to 7 pounds as the 121-pound highweight.

Flashy American prevails in Locust Grove

Flashy American ($5.20) wore down Wine Princess in the final 70 yards to take a hard-earned 1 1/4-length victory in the $111,400 Locust Grove. Awesome Flower was another 5 3/4 lengths back in a field of eight fillies and mares in the 1 1/16-mile race. The winning time was 1:43.53.

Corey Lanerie, who won the Grade 2 Pocahontas one race earlier on the card, was aboard Flashy American for Preston Stables and trainer Ken McPeek. Flashy American, a 4-year-old gray filly by Flashy Bull, now has won 4 of her last 5 starts and was coming off a victory in a restricted stakes at Saratoga.