NEWS: racing

Fingerpainter upends Niagara Stakes at odds of 18-1

Monday, June 20th, 2016
SV Photography

SV Photography

By Sarah Mace

The engagingly-named Fingerpainter (Nobiz Like Shobiz) got up just in time to put a head in front of 1-4 rival Absatootly and annex the $50,000 Niagara Stakes at Finger Lakes on Monday at odds 18-1. The six-furlong dash was carded for 3-year-old New York-bred fillies.

Out of the gate the quickest of six, Fingerpainter took back into third, allowing the heavy favorite Absatootly to dictate the pace through swift early fractions of 22.46 and 46.00.

Moving up into second around the three-sixteenths marker, Fingerpainter set her sights on the leader, but stakes winner Absatootly still led by more than a length within the furlong grounds and was being ridden with complete confidence.

Never saying “die,” jockey Gabriel Suarez kept Fingerpainter digging to the wire, and the dark bay filly had enough left in the tank for a final surge. She collared Absatootly just at the finish and scored her victory by a head. Fabulous Dream finished three lengths back in in third. Completing the order of finish were Beach Princess, Queen of New York and Ohmygollymsmolly. Ask Mae and Wonderment were scratched. The final time was 1:11.35. [VIDEO]

Fingerpainter, who is owned and trained by Timothy Murphy, had tried stakes competition at the Farmington oval twice at two, finishing well back in the Lady Finger Stakes last September, and, after breaking her maiden in an intervening start, running a close second in the Shesastonecoldfox Stakes in November. Before the Niagara, the filly shook off the winter rust with two conditioned allowance starts two weeks apart at Finger Lakes, finishing off the board on May 16, and second over good going on May 30.

Fingerpainter was bred by Richard and Kay Zwirn and foaled at their Rainbow Fields Farm in Gansevoort. She is one of four winners from five foals to start out of Twinkie Zone, a New York-bred homebred for Very Un Stable. The Zwirns purchased the multiple winner for a song ($1,000) at the 2008 New York mixed sale. The mare currently has a 2-year-old filly by Cosmonaut.

With a record of three wins and two seconds from nine starts, Fingerpainter has earned $71,627.

Ancient Secret still unbeaten after Wild Applause

Sunday, June 19th, 2016
NYRA/Chelsea Durand

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

By Sarah Mace

Alpha Delta Stables’ lightly-raced Ancient Secret (Kantharos), undefeated winner of her first two starts against New York-breds, kicked home to collar Thundering Sky in the open, $100,000 Wild Applause, Sunday’s Belmont Park feature for 3-year-old fillies at one mile on the Widener Turf Course.

Conditioned by Belmont’s leading trainer Chad Brown and 3-1 second choice in the field of ten behind stablemate Ava’s Kitten (2-1), Ancient Secret was teamed up for her third straight Belmont start with Irad Ortiz, Jr.

Out of the gate sharply from post four, Ancient Secret was taken back into fourth to rate behind early pacesetter Summer Reading (8-1), who posted a 23.21 quarter and 47.08 half.

Picking up momentum around the far turn, Ancient Secret angled out four wide and began to kick into gear. Charging hard for home to tackle new leader Thundering Sky (16-1), who inherited the lead from third, she got up in the shadow of the wire to win by a head. Welcoming finished 1 1/2 lengths back in third, a neck ahead of Ava’s Kitten in fourth. After six panels in 1:10.73, the final time for the race was 1:33.92. [VIDEO]

Jockey Ortiz, Jr. said, “She’s a very handy filly. She broke well and I just let her put me where she wanted to be. Chad told me she’s a New York-bred and she’s a nice filly. When I asked her, she had plenty of run. I think she’ll be able to go further.”

Brown’s assistant Cherie DeVaux also touted the filly’s prospects and New York-bred status: “I thought she ran great. She has always trained very well. We’ve had high hopes for her all along, so it’s nice to see her step up in open company in her third race. She really ran to the way she’s been presenting herself. Being a New York-bred and having her for the whole summer is exciting.”

Ancient Secret, a debut winner by three lengths at Belmont going six furlongs in October 2015, returned as a sophomore to win by four-plus lengths at seven furlongs against state-bred allowance horses on May 14. In each case, as on Sunday, she rallied from off the pace.

Bred by Lambholm and foaled at Cedar Ridge Farm in Pine Plains, Ancient Secret is the first winner and first registered New York-bred out of Privacy. The filly sold on the opening day of the 2015 OBS spring sale to Steven Young, agent, for $225,000.

Privacy, a winning Florida-bred mare by Notebook also bred by Lambholm. is a half-sister to stakes winner Admonition. Her 2014 foal by Posse named Hiding, is also a registered New York-bred.

Silver Mission romps in Tremont

Friday, June 10th, 2016
NYRA/Adam Coglianese

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

By Sarah Mace

Twin Creeks Racing Stables and Sequel Racing homebred Silver Mission is leaping nimbly through all the hoops to draw attention to his New York-based first-year sire Mission Impazible. A first starter and first winner for the young stallion, Silver Mission has now become Mission Impazible’s first stakes winner after romping in Belmont’s open $200,000 Tremont Stakes Friday by six-plus lengths.

Jockey John Velazquez and trainer Todd Pletcher opted to send the grey/roan colt, even before the gate scratch of Lady Stardust, who was the odds-on favorite to beat the boys in this 5 1/2-furlong dash.

Said Pletcher, “We were a little concerned with the way the track seemed to be playing. [We] know it’s not a long way to the turns. so you’re not running into the headwind quite as much. These races everybody’s kind of done the same thing. [Every starter has] run once and most of them have won. Most of them are wire-to-wire, so you sort out who’s the quickest.”

Second choice in the Tremont at 2-1 in the field of four that remained, Silver Mission got a jump on the field at the break, comfortably established control and led the field by about a length through a first quarter mile in 22.99 and half in 45.89.

The colt began to draw off more decisively at the head of the stretch and cruised home under a hand ride to win by a margin of 6 1/4 lengths in a final time of 1:03.78. Favorite Hey Mike, Pachi Cruze and Saratoga Two Step filled in the remaining placings. [VIDEO]

Pletcher said after the race, “He caught a great start, Johnny [Velazquez] was super impressed with the way he broke away from there. It was his race to have from there.”

Velazquez commented, “It was pretty easy. He broke well coming out of there. He got to the lead and he kept going. He handled it very well.” The pilot also alluded to the colt’s relatively small size: “He’s pretty quick for a little guy. He’s also pretty talented for as little as he is.”

Silver Mission was a game winner of his debut on April 21, when he defeated four open company juveniles by three-quarters of a length after winning a tough stretch battle and experiencing some contact with the runner-up.

The Tremont winner, who has earned $161,000 from his two victories, is the fourth winner from four starters out of Grade 3 winner and $438,843-earner Nashinda (Silver Deputy) who is a half-sister to Canadian champion Archers Bay (Silver Deputy). Her A.P. Indy filly Nashindy is stakes placed. Nashinda has a yearling full sister to Silver Mission and was bred back to Mission Impazible this year.

Mission Impazible (Unbridled’s Song), a multiple Grade 2 winner campaigned by Twin Creeks Racing and trained by Todd Pletcher, stands at Becky Thomas and Dennis Narlinger’s Sequel Stallions New York for a 2016 stud fee of $7,500. Twin Creeks has vigorously supported the stallion, booking over 20 of their Kentucky-based mares to him in his first season, including Nashinda.

Breakin the Fever wins George W. Barker in front-running style

Monday, June 6th, 2016
SV Photography

SV Photography

By Sarah Mace

Four-year-old gelding Breakin the Fever (Roaring Fever), bred, owned and trained by Debra Breed, collected his third career stakes victory on Monday when he won the $50,000 George W. Barker, a six-furlong sprint for New York-breds and the first of 13 races on the Finger Lakes stakes calendar.

With lots of speed lined up to his outside in the eight-horse field, front-running Breakin the Fever, who drew the one-hole, had his work cut out for him, but in the end proved too tough a customer for his rivals.

Out of the gate well under Nazario Alvarado, Breakin the Fever dueled for the first half mile with Baime, who crossed over from post eight, keeping a head in front through opening fractions of 21.81 and 44.31. Crackerjack Jones also attended the duel, tracking intently from close range.

After putting away Baime in the stretch, the 6-5 favorite dug deep to fend off a final challenge from 2-1 second choice Crackerjack Jones and prevailed by three-quarters of a length in a tour de force performance. Baime finished another 1 1/2 lengths back in third. The final time for the race was 1:10.81. [VIDEO]

Now a perfect two-for-two in 2016 and the winner of 11 of 19 career starts, Breakin the Fever has earned $309,441. Last year, in the course of winning eight races at the Farmington oval, the gelding scored victories in the Ontario County Stakes and Leon Reed Memorial Stakes

Breakin the Fever is one of three winners from three foals to start out of Breakers West, a winning daughter of Rodeo owned and bred in New York by Francis Casey and trained by Debra Breed.

The Tea Cups fires fresh; rallies from last to first in the Mount Vernon

Monday, May 30th, 2016
NYRA/Chelsea Durand

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

By Bill Heller

Rallying from dead last in the field of 12 under Luis Saez, Kendel Standlee’s idle six-year-old mare The Tea Cups edged idle Invading Humor and Jose Lezcano by a half-length in an exciting 38th running of the one-mile $125,000 Mount Vernon Stakes. Neck of the Moon and Irad Ortiz Jr. finished just a neck behind Invading Humor in third, and Selenite, who was ridden by John Velazquez, finished another 2 ½ lengths back in fourth.

The Tea Cups, who hadn’t raced since Oct. 24th when she was eighth in the $200,000 Ticonderoga Stakes, was 7-1 and Invading Humor, making her first start since finishing seventh in the Grade 3 Cardinal Handicap at Churchill Downs Nov. 21st, was 9-2. Neck of the Moon was the 9-5 favorite and Selenite 15-1 on the rail.

William Parsons and David Howe bred The Tea Cups, a daughter of Hard Spun out of Lunar Colony by A.P. Indy who is trained by Jeremiah Englehart. Last year, she won the $150,000 Yaddo Stakes at Saratoga.

There was a wild scramble to the early lead, one that was claimed by 21-1 Freudie Anne and Joel Rosario. After a fast first quarter in :22.53, Freudie Ann had a half-length lead on 30-1 Isabelle and Junior Alvarado. There was a four-length gap back to Invading Humor in third.

Freudie Ann shook clear of Isabelle and opened a six-length lead by running a half-mile in :46.75. The Tea Cups was still last. “I knew it was going to be like that because there was a lot of speed and the track is wet,” Saez said. “I was coming from behind because she is a one-run filly, but I knew she was going to take off.”

Freudie Ann’s lead began to shrivel heading for the far turn while The Tea Cups was making a wide rally. Around the turn, The Tea Cups was flying past horses four-wide. “I had a lot of horse and when I came into the stretch,” Saez said. “I asked her and she responded.”

When Freudie Ann tired after three-quarters in 1:11.49, Invading Humor took over, taking a two-length lead on The Tea Cups, who had advanced into second and was gaining. Further back, Neck of the Moon kicked in and was charging hard.

Invading Humor was exceedingly game, but The Tea Cups got past her in the final 100 yards to win in 1:36.40 on the yielding course.

The Tea Cups is now six-for-20 on turf with four seconds and three thirds.  She has one third from a pair of dirt starts for total earnings of more than $330,000.

Flatterywillgetyou makes it four straight in Bouwerie

Monday, May 30th, 2016
NYRA/Adam Coglianese

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

By Sarah Mace

Everything’s Cricket Racing’s Flatterywillgetyou (Flatter) drove her winning streak to four with a confident victory in the seven-furlong, $125,000 Bouwerie Stakes which attracted eight New York-bred 3-year-old fillies at Belmont Park on Monday aftertoon.

Third on debut at Aqueduct on December 20, the Linda Rice trainee has done nothing but win ever since, breaking her maiden in the slop on the Aqueduct inner in January, scoring a tenacious head victory in a first-level state-bred allowance in February and, after a brief freshening, blowing away a field of open allowance horses at her longest distance so far, 6 1/2 furlongs.

With Cornelio Velasquez in the irons, the chestnut filly (7-2) got out of the gate cleanly and sat a stalking second just a half-length behind pacesetter Bag of Tricks who clocked the first quarter in 23.12.

Three furlongs from home, Flatterywillgetyou assumed a narrow lead, opened up some daylight and had plenty left in the tank to hold off Absatootly, who closed into second, and prevail by a length. Wonderment finished third. Frosty Margarita, Bag of Tricks, Super Allison, Langfirst and Gregorian Gold completed the order of finish. After six panels in 1:10.80, the final time was 1:23.42. [VIDEO]

Velasquez said, “Every time she runs, she’s better than she was. She’s [improving] all the time. She’s run only five times and has four wins. She comes from behind great. She’s a nice filly.”

Trainer Linda Rice commented, “I’m very pleased. Bag of Tricks and Frosty Margarita are nice fillies, so I thought she had a pretty big job ahead of her today. Her last two races have been pretty powerful. I think she likes the outer track and the big sweeping turns at Belmont rather than the inner track at Aqueduct. Seven-eighths is a good distance for her.”

Bred by First Class Thoroughbreds LLC, Flatterywillgetyou is one of five winners and the first black type winner out of Tres Chaud (French Deputy). Her Northern Afleet foal Accelebrate is stakes placed. Flatterywillgetyou changed hands once via public auction, purchased by Lexicon Stable as a weanling at the Fasig-Tipton fall mixed sale in Saratoga for $75,000. From four wins and a third she has earned $193,900.

Tapitation makes his stakes debut a winning one in the Kingston

Monday, May 30th, 2016
NYRA/Chelsea Durand

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

By Bill Heller

The three past winners of the one-mile $125,000 Kingston Stakes, King Kreesa, Kharafa and Lubash, returned for the 38th running of the grass stakes Monday on Showcase Day at Belmont Park. Whisper Hill Farm’s idle, five-year-old Tapitation, who hadn’t even started in a stakes race, outran all three, winning the Kingston by a length and three-quarters in 1:35.62 on a yielding course, giving jockey Joel Rosario his third victory of the afternoon. King Kreesa nosed Kharafa for second, 2 ½ lengths clear of Lubash in fourth.

Tapitation was 7-2, King Kreesa and Jose Ortiz 5-2, Kharafa and Luis Saez 7-2 and Lubash and Junior Alvarado 9-1 in the field of nine.

Heading into the Kingston, nine-year-old Lubash, who had won more than $1.3 million, was only one-for-six on yielding courses. Seven-year-old King Kreesa, a $1.1 million earner, was zero-for-two and seven-year-old Kharafa, who had nearly $900,000 in earnings, one-for-two. Tapitation hadn’t encountered a yielding or a soft course in his first six turf tries.

Tapitation is a son of Tapit out of Derrianne by Cozzene who was bred by Waterville Lake Stables and is trained by Ralph Nicks. In his prior start, an open allowance/optional $62,500 claimer at Gulfstream Park, Tapitation finished fourth by 2 ¾ lengths at 4-1.

Credit Nicks with an outstanding job getting Tapitation ready for his first start in three months in the toughest field he’d ever faced.

“I thought he’d run good, but it is a step up in class, and you don’t know until you put them in there and see what happens,” Nicks’ assistant, Heather Smullen, said.

Taking advantage of the rail, Macagone and Manuel Franco streaked to the lead as King Kreesa and 17-1 Iron Power and Jose Lezcano disputed second and third in a fast opening quarter of :22.60. Tapitation was last. Macagone stretched his lead from one length to two, but he had to run a half-mile in a demanding :45.35 half-mile. Tapitation, was still last, five lengths behind next-to-last 13-1 Captain Gaughen. “I was very happy because it looked like the pace was very fast in front of me,” Rosario said.

Macagone held on to a rapidly-decreasing lead around the far turn as both King Kreesa and Kharafa drew closer. Kharafa closed in from fourth. Behind them, Rosario had navigated Tapitation inside two horses before angling him six-wide around the far turn.

After three-quarters in 1:09.16, King Kreesa opened a two-length lead on Kharafa in second. But Tapitation was third and gaining quickly on both of them.

Tapitation powered past both to win going away. King Kreesa gamely nosed Kharafa for second on a head bob. And Lubash, who was fifth in his nine-year-old debut April 10th, closed well to finish an improved fourth.

“He did it on his own,” Rosario said. “I was just a passenger.”

Tapitation improved his grass record to four-for-seven with one third. He also a victory and a pair of seconds from four dirt starts for combined earnings of more than $260,000.

Bust Another upsets Mike Lee

Monday, May 30th, 2016
NYRA/Adam Coglianese

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

By Sarah Mace

The old adage is that “pace makes the race,” and that certainly held true in this year’s renewal of the seven-furlong, $125,000 Mike Lee Stakes for New York-bred 3-year-olds at Belmont Park. After a pair of blazing pacesetters — and favorites — dueled one another into defeat, Bing Cherry Racing’s Bust Another (Bustin Stones) took full advantage and gave trainer Michael Pino a solid longshot stakes victory.

Shortly after the break, the two post time favorites Sudden Surprise (2.20-1) and Championofthenile (1.95-1) gunned to the front and proceeded to blaze their way through a 22.05 quarter and 44.86 half, while 19-1 Bust Another sat four lengths off the pace in third.

With five-sixteenths left to go, jockey Eric Cancel began to ask his mount for more, entered the stretch four wide and rallied to take command just outside the furlong marker. Keeping his mind on business to the wire, Bust Another crossed the wire a 3 1/4-length winner. After six furlongs in 1:10.32, the final time of the race was 1:23.94. Mind Your Biscuits (12-1) closed from sixth to get the place while Championofthenile hung on for third. Taoiseach, Vincento, Cards of Stone, Sudden Surprise and Lucky Lurie completed the order of finish. [VIDEO]

Cancel said, “This horse has improved a lot. I’m really happy with his training and how he’s been running for Mike Pino. I had been really close to the pace with him and he struggled a little bit, but today it didn’t seem to bother him. Being too close to the pace, trying to go with the other horses, he gives more than he’s got and at the end he flattens out a little bit. But today, I had the perfect trip and he finished strongly.”

A winner of two out of three starts for Kuehne Racing et al, Bust Another was claimed by Bing Cherry Racing’s Scott Zimmerman for $32,000.

Zimmerman said, “I liked the way he tried. I thought he had a future and we took a shot and won a four-way shake to get him and it worked out. We’ll keep experimenting and trying but he’s a nice horse who tries all the time. We’ll see how he comes out of the race and we’ll look to Saratoga.”

From five wins and a second in eight starts overall, Bust Another has earned $22,630.

Bred by Casey Newick, Bust Another is one of four winners and three stakes winners from four foals to start out of I Drink Alone, a winning New York-bred daughter of Intidab. Her other stakes winners are Bustin It and May Shares.

Bust Another passed twice though the sales ring, purchased for $48,000 as a weanling at the OBS fall mixed sale by Jumping Jack Racing, then my Mareina Racing at the Fasig-Tipton New York-bred preferred yearling sale for $80,000.

Bar of Gold rings true in Critical Eye

Monday, May 30th, 2016
NYRA/Adam Coglianese

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

By Sarah Mace

Chester and Mary Broman homebred Bar of Gold (Medaglia d’Oro), who has been steadily collecting checks in graded stakes company ever since trouncing New York-breds in her first three career starts, returned to state-bred company – and to the winner’s circle – on Monday with a convincing win in the $200,000, one-mile Critical Eye for New York-bred fillies and mares.

Bet down to 3-2 favoritism and with Junior Alvarado in the irons, Bar of Gold broke cleanly from post one and saved ground over the muddy going in third. Meanwhile longshot Perfect Freud and Jules N Rome gunned their way to the front and set a sharp pace, 22.23 for the first quarter mile and 44.84 for the half.

With positions unchanged in the turn, Bar of Gold found running room at the inside at the five-sixteenths pole, snuck on through and gained the lead. Alvarado guided his mount to the outside for the drive and she cruised home a 1 1/2-length winner. Haveyougoneaway, in fourth early, got up for a solid second, followed 1 1/2 lengths back Literata, far back early, who closed well to get third money. [VIDEO]

Alvarado reported, “Everything went perfect. The horses in front of me went very quick. I saved ground the whole way around. Turning for home, around the 5/16 pole, I had plenty of room on the inside to go through. I didn’t have any problems at all with the 1-post.”

“The first couple of races, the horses have been winning coming from the fifth, sixth and seventh lane out. I wasn’t worried about the inside for the first part of the race, but turning for home, I wanted to be on the outside.”

Trainer John Kimmel said, “I was a little worried about the inside draw and whether or not the inside was the good part of the racetrack to be sitting. Basically, my main concern was not being caught up in a speed duel up front. I wanted Junior [Alvarado] to get her in a nice rhythm and if he could get off the fence. We had an opening right outside the quarter-pole and he said he had to take advantage of it. He was worried if he didn’t go then, so he actually called on her a little sooner than he’d like to. But she had enough in the tank to get through there and enough energy to get the job done.”

Bar of Gold has only gone beyond seven furlongs twice before, finishing sixth in the Grade 1 Acorn and fourth in the Grade 3 Delaware Oaks.

Kimmel said, “She came back blowing a little bit and I’m kind of wondering if a mile might be the outer limits of her effectiveness, but she got a little bit of class relief today. Maybe, if we’re going to go back in against graded horses, seven-eighths might be her ideal distance. She’s by Medaglia d’Oro and I’ve never taken her out on the turf course, and that might be something where we could just take a shot and see how she handles it. It might be a good space before the races at Saratoga.”

After going unbeaten in her first three starts, Bar of Gold has finished second three times and third once in graded company, including second in the Grade 1 Test to Cavorting. Last out, she finished third behind Paulassilverlining and Cavorting in the Grade 3 Distaff at Aqueduct. Bar of Gold has earned $509,500.

Bar of Gold is the first foal and only starter to date out of Khancord Kid, a Broman homebred by Lemon Drop Kid, also trained by Kimmel, who captured the Grade 3 Herecomesthebride Stakes on turf at Gulfstream Park turf in 2010. Chester Broman purchased Khancord Kid’s dam Confidently, an unraced daughter of Storm Cat, at Keeneland’s 2000 January sale of horses of all ages for $1 million

Weekend Hideaway wins second straight in $200,000 Commentator

Monday, May 30th, 2016
NYRA/Adam Coglianese

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

By Bill Heller

When Red and Black Stable’s New York-bred Weekend Hideaway finished an extremely distant seventh in the Grade 3 Mr. Prospector Stakes at Gulfstream Park to end his five-year-old season last Dec. 19th, trainer Phil Serpe decided to give him a good long rest.

Great idea.

Weekend Hideaway, a son of Speightstown out of Apocalyptical by Wisemen’s Ferry who was bred by Flying Zee Stables, made his six-year-old debut in the $100,000 Affirmed Success Stakes at Belmont Park April 29th. Sent off at 5-1 in the field of eight under Luis Saez, he rallied from fourth to win by 2 ¼ lengths at 5-1.

One month and one day later, in the first of six stakes on New York-bred Showcase Day Monday at Belmont, Weekend Hideaway made it two straight under Saez. He survived an early speed duel with Sioux and Jose Ortiz, opened a huge lead and won the fourth running of the one-mile $200,000 Commentator Stakes by 3 ¾ lengths despite drifting out in the stretch in 1:35.95 on a track upgraded from sloppy to muddy.

“It’s always great to have a fresh horse,” Serpe said afterwards. “He’s come back strong. He’s a grown up horse now, a good and sound horse and that’s always good to have in the barn.”

Royal Posse, the 4-5 favorite ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., finished second, a neck ahead of 9-2 Eye Luv Lulu, who was left at the start under Cornelio Velasquez. Bellamy Way, who was 7-1 with Jose Lezcano up, finished 2 ¼ lengths behind Eye Luv Lulu in fourth.

The early scratches of Ostrolenka and Drama King left an accomplished field of five for the Commentator. Each of the five had won more than $200,000, and four of them had solid records on wet tracks. Eye Luv Lulu was six-for-seven, Bellamy Way one-for-one, Royal Posse three-for-eight with three seconds and Weekend Hideaway three-for-four. Sioux was zero-for-three with one second.

Both Sioux, breaking from the four post, and Weekend Hideaway, leaving from the five, went for the early lead. Weekend Hideaway led Sioux on his inside by a head in a :23.18 opening quarter. There was a gap of two lengths back to 7-1 Bellamy Way, Eye Luv Lulu two-wide and Royal Posse three-wide battling for third.

“He didn’t wait for me and pulled me right to the lead,” Saez said.

Weekend Hideaway continued to lead Sioux by a head without clearing him in a :45.56 half-mile. There was a gap of four lengths back to the others.

“I had a little pressure, but I knew I had a lot of horse,” Saez said.

Weekend Hideaway then took over, spurting away to lead by two lengths and hitting three-quarters in 1:09.72. He extended his lead to four lengths in mid-stretch while drifting out though well clear.

“When we came into the stretch, he was gone,” Saez said. “When I asked him, he kept going.”

Weekend Hideaway is now nine-for-28 on dirt with four seconds and four thirds. He also is one-for-three on turf with career earnings of more than $750,000.

“I hate to ruin everyone’s Memorial Day, but I was very happy that this rain came along,” Serpe said.