ELMONT, N.Y. -- Pure Sensation, trainer Christophe Clement said, is a difficult horse to keep sound.
"When this horse is right, he's a top-class horse," Clement said.
Pure Sensation was making his first start since Feb. 9 on Saturday in the Jaipur Stakes, and Clement had him right for this start. He quickly made the lead from a wide draw under Jose Ortiz, set a strong pace, and held off Disco Partner to win the Grade 3, $300,000 Jaipur by a neck. Pure Sensation's winning time of 1:06.76 for six furlongs on very firm, fast-playing grass established a course record, eclipsing the 1:06.82 that Keep the Faith ran on July 24, 2005.
Disco Partner closed strongly from the rear for second and might have caught the winner had jockey Junior Alvarado been able to find a seam after saving ground around the turn.
"It was really tight," Alvarado said. "There was no place to go, and I finally just had to take him eight, 10 wide."
Disco Partner's rally came up just short, but it made little difference to Patricia Generazio, who bred and owns the first two finishers. James Ryerson trains Disco Partner.
There appeared to be several front-runners in the Jaipur, but Pure Sensation ($39.20) burst from stall 12 and outran them all to the lead, opening a clear lead through a quarter-mile in 21.64 seconds. Rocket Heat tested him around the turn but quickly faded, and Pure Sensation took a one-length lead to the eighth pole. By then, Disco Partner was rolling on the far outside, but it was too late, and Pure Sensation was home.
"The firm turf helped him," said Clement. "One of the reasons he didn't run well in the Breeders' Cup [Turf Sprint] was because the turf was soft."
Pure Sensation finished eighth in the Breeders' Cup, then failed to make the front and checked in fifth Feb. 6 in the Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint, his issues clearly troubling him again, but Clement gave the gelding time, and Pure Sensation gave his best again Saturday. The 5-year-old gelding, by Zensational and out of Pure Disco, by Disco Rico, won for the fifth time in 16 starts and boosted his bankroll well over $500,000.
Disco Partner finished one length clear of Ready for Rye, who was a nose better than A Lot, the tepid 7-2 favorite, with Mosler another head back in fifth.