Etched held off Kiss the Kid by a neck Friday night to win the $300,000 Meadowlands Cup at the Meadowlands Racetrack in stakes-record time.
Etched ran the 1 1-8 miles on the sloppy, sealed track in 1:45,93, shading the stakes mark of 1:46 set by K. J.'s Appeal in 1998.
Etched, a 4-year-old trained by Kiaran McLaughlin and ridden by Alan Garcia for the Darley Stable, improved to 5 for 6 with the biggest win of his career. He is unbeaten in five starts in the U.S. The lone defeat came in Dubai last year.
Etched closely followed Great Debater, a rabbit entered by trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. to ensure a quick pace to aid entrymate Anak Nakal. Etched put away Great Debater on the turn and held off a strong stretch bid from Kiss the Kid, making his final start before retiring to stud.
While Kiss the Kid concluded his career, Etched could be on to bigger things_ like the Breeders' Cup next month at Santa Anita.
"The way he ran here tonight, I wouldn't be surprised," assistant trainer Andrew St. Lawrence said. "That's for Kiaran and Darley to decide."
Etched earned $180,000, paying $5.40, $4 and $3.40 as the 8-5 favorite. Kiss the Kid returned $6 and $3.60. Anak Nakal rallied for third, paying $3.
Racketeer was fourth followed by Cool Coal Man, Good and Lucky, It's a Bird and Great Debater.