Run Time relishes marathon distance in Allen Jerkens Stakes

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. -- Run Time proved that distance is the great equalizer when stepping up off a first-level allowance/optional-claiming victory to upset Grade 1 winner Bullards Alley in Saturday's two-mile H. Allen Jerkens Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

Run Time, who won his maiden going 1 1/2 miles four months ago at Kentucky Downs, bided his time early while rating kindly for jockey Tyler Gaffalione off the early pace set by California invader Infobedad.

Run Time advanced four wide on the final bend, moved closer outside horses at mid-stretch, then surged late after finally changing back to his right lead inside the sixteenth pole to nail the 3-2 favorite in the final yards and post a head decision as a 10-1 outsider in a field of eight long-winded turf specialists.

Bullards Alley, the winner of the Grade 1 Canadian International during the fall and beaten less than four lengths in the Breeders' Cup Turf, rallied from mid-pack to assume the lead in late stretch but could not resist the winner. Gold Shield finished a tiring third after vying for command through much of the final quarter-mile.

Run Time, a 4-year-old son of Gio Ponti, is owned by Bloom Racing Stable and Allen Racing and trained by Mike Maker. He covered the grueling distance over a firm course in 3:23.97 and paid $22.20.

"This is a horse crying out for more ground," Maker said. "Conditioned allowance races are hard to come by going that far, he was doing well, so we decided to take a chance in here. He was immature as a young horse and even raced greenly two starts back when he got beat. I had some confidence going in because like I said, he's a horse who wants to go further and happens to be doing real well at this time."

Maker said he'd likely look at a race like the 1 1/2-mile, Grade 3 W.L. McKnight here on Jan. 27 for Run Time's next start.