At one point six lengths down and in fourth place on the backstretch, Bitumen kicked it in a higher gear and won the Sanford Stakes July 23 in a furious stretch run.
It was Bitumen’s second win in as many starts, having won his maiden on June 30.
Zartera set a quick early pace along with Random Walk and Bay Numbers, with the first quarter mile in :22 3/5. The three horses raced as one for most of the backstretch, with Bitumen some six lengths behind. He finally had to make a move on the far turn to keep up with the quick pace-setters, leaving some to wonder if it was too much ground to make up in such little distance.
With the three running neck and neck, Bitumen had to go four wide to make his move around the far turn, and as they headed for home, Bitumen slowly pulled even with Random Walk and Zartera at the sixteenth pole. Under the whip of jockey Javier Castellano, pulled away easily, winning by a two lengths over Random Walk. Zartera finished third.
It was an impressive win, even though it made bettors hold their breath for a while. In the end, Bitumen made it look easy.