Breaking from post two and running to form, Delightful Kiss raced near the back early, with jockey Calvin Borel saving ground while Canela and A. P. Excellent separated from the field and vied for the lead through the first mile of the 1 1/2 mile course. Following their easy early fractions, :25.11, :49:55, and 1:15.50, Borel moved Delightful Kiss out with less than half a mile to go and urged him on. By the time the field turned for home he had rolled from ninth to third, and as they straightened into the stretch the race was his. Star Plus raced in mid-pack throughout and moved up for second. Dominican bid for the lead leaving the turn and stayed in to finish third, a neck farther back.
Delightful Kiss comprises the entire stable of trainer Pete Anderson, who trains the homebred gelding for Jack Dreyfus’s Hobeau Farm. “He’s my big horse,” said Anderson. “I got the best one-horse stable in America. I am confident in this horse. I just think he’s a real top horse. If he couldn’t run this distance, I’m not bowlegged. I’m ready for California.”
Delightful Kiss was on the Kentucky Derby trail in 2007 but did not make the field. On the way, though, he caught the eye of the Derby winner’s jockey.
“I always wanted to ride this horse because he finished third to Street Sense [in the 2007 Tampa Bay Derby],” said Borel. “I worked him the other morning and he went very well. We had a great trip and he ran great.”
Anderson knows big horses. A jockey for 25 years, he was the leading apprentice in New York in 1948 and rode the legendary Forego for his first 11 races, including his maiden win and his fourth-place finish in the 1973 Kentucky Derby behind Secretariat.
Anderson plans to start Delightful Kiss one more time before the Breeders’ Cup. “When I was riding I won the Hawthorne Gold Cup one year  with a horse called Bold Bidder and I’d like to go give that race a shot with this horse.”
A 4-year-old son of Kissin Kris, Delightful Kiss has now earned $577,087, with 5 wins, 3 seconds, and 2 thirds from 19 starts. He has two other stakes wins, last year’s Ohio Derby (G2) and Iowa Derby.
Completing the order of finish in the Fall Championship were Canela, Telling, Jade’s Revenge, Taconeo, Storm the Castle, Tres Copas, and A. P. Excellent.
Racing continues at Turfway Sunday with first post at 1:10 p.m. The track is closed for live racing Monday and Tuesday but will be open on Monday for simulcast racing.