Sain Et Sauf, who was an equine celebrity before he ever set foot on a track, won his racing debut at Gulfstream Park this afternoon.
The 3-year-old is a son of the great mare Fanfreluche, who in 1977 was kidnapped from a farm in Kentucky, abandoned and finally recovered by the FBI while she was carrying this colt by Secretariat.
Minor physical infirmities had kept Sain Et Sauf out of action until today, but he looked good when he came onto the track for the sixth race and the crowd made him the 11-to-10 favorite. He rushed to the lead along the inside soon after the start and held on to score by three-quarters of a length over Ironical.
"It was a great race," exclaimed the colt's Canadian owner, Jean-Louis Levesque, "because this horse is known around the world. It was almost like winning the Queen's Plate."
In fact, objective analysis would suggest that Sain Et Sauf's performance was less than great. He covered the seven furlongs in 1:25 2/5. An hour earlier, the winner among a similar group of maidens had run the distance in 1:23 1/5.