ARCADIA, Calif. -- Everything came together at once for Red Giant in the $250,000 Clement Hirsch Turf Championship.
He set a world record of 1:57.16 for 1 1/4 miles on turf, won the first Grade 1 race of his 12-race career, and left John Fort of Peachtree Stable planning for a start in a Breeders' Cup race here Oct. 25.
Ridden by John Velazquez, Red Giant caught Out of Control in the final furlong to win by a head. The final time eclipsed Double Discount's course and world record of 1:57.40, set in 1977.
Red Giant had an ideal trip. Velazquez kept the 4-year-old Giant's Causeway colt in third for the first mile, well behind You Got Me Rocking, who set a torrid early pace of 23.52 and 45.63 seconds. Out of Control took the lead from You Got Me Rocking on the final turn, but could not hold off Red Giant.
Out of Control finished six lengths in front of Transduction Gold in the field of six. Spring House, the winner of two graded stakes on turf earlier this year in California, finished fourth.
The Clement Hirsch was Red Giant's second start following a 10-month layoff caused by an ankle injury, according to Fort. Red Giant won the Fourstardave Handicap at Saratoga in August in his comeback.
"We wanted to see if we could make the Breeders' Cup on two races," Fort said.
Fort said that Red Giant will be considered for the $3 million BC Turf or the $5 million BC Classic on the main track.
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