Classy Class ran some good races around two turns early in his career, but the Grade 3 Salvator Mile at Monmouth Park on Saturday was his first attempt around two bends since he finished 10th in the Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park in September 2015.
Although he was eager early, jockey Antonio Gallardo let Classy Class have his way, making what probably was the winning move on the first turn. It appeared Gallardo planned to settle Classy Class behind Red Dragon Tattoo and Majestic Affair, both of whom broke running in the nine-horse field of older runners. But when Classy Class kept pulling, Gallardo took him to the rail and let him shoot past the top two to make a clear lead before reaching the backstretch.
Classy Class was never seriously challenged after that opening quarter-mile in 23.67 seconds. He clicked off fractions of 47.48 and 1:11.19 before winning by 2 3/4 lengths in 1:35.27. The $107,000 Salvator was run in light rain and foggy conditions over a fast track.
"I knew my horse liked being on the lead and there was a lot of speed to my inside," Gallardo said. "Coming out of the first turn, he had an easy lead. He enjoyed being on the front and had a nice, long stride and never stopped."
Classy Class, a 5-year-old son of Discreetly Mine, is trained by Kiaran McLaughlin and owned by the Cheyenne Stables of Everett Dobson. Paco Lopez had been scheduled to ride Classy Class, but he took off his mounts after being kicked in the paddock prior to the day's first race. Lopez is expected to resume riding Sunday.
Classy Class paid $20.80 as the fifth betting choice in the Salvator. He is now 5 for 18 in his career with earnings of $422,100.
Just Call Kenny is based locally with trainer Patrick McBurney, who won two races earlier on the card. He finished well at 21-1 to get up for second by a neck over 22-1 shot Adirondack King, who was forwardly placed the entire race. Donegal Moon was fourth, a length farther back.
Majestic Affair and Red Dragon Tattoo tired to finish sixth and eighth, respectively. Name Changer, the 3-1 favorite, finished fifth, beaten 12 1/2 lengths.
Far From Over and El Kabeir, who were both 5-1, finished seventh and ninth. El Kabeir dropped far back after five furlongs.
Classy Class's ability to go a mile gives McLaughlin new options. Early in 2015, Classy Class finished third, beaten 2 3/4 lengths by Far From Over and El Kabeir in the Grade 3 Withers, a 1 1/16-mile race over the Aqueduct inner track. A month later, he finished third, beaten by the same margin, to El Kabeir in the Grade 3 Gotham, also at 1 1/16 miles over the inner track.