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La Cloche heads to the winner's circle after the Athenia.
Belmont Park hosted two Grade 3 events on Saturday afternoon before just 4,003 fans under clear skies and temperatures in the low 50's. Rain earlier in the week downgraded the turf to "good". Run 3 weeks before the Breeders' Cup, these are possible preps for the Championships.
La Cloche closes on the far outside in the stretch
Jockey Rajiv Maragh sent 33-1 longest shot The Underling to the lead through fractions of 25.16, 50.27, and 1:15.29 while stalked by 14-1 Thundering Emilia and 23-1 Law of the Range. Entering the stretch, The Underling tired and faded to last, allowing Law of the Range to inherit the lead. Law of the Range tired through the final furlong as La Cloche, 6th early, closed 4 wide to win by 1 1/4 lengths over 24-1 Embarr in 1:45.45 over the good inner turf course. It was 3/4 length back to Laughing third, and a neck more to favorite Ruthenia fourth.
# Horse Jockey Win Place Show 1 La Cloche Alvarado 11.00 6.10 4.00 3 Embarr Morales 18.80 9.20 4 Laughing Velasquez 4.20 Winning Time: 1:45.15 $2 Exacta 1-3 172.50 $2 Trifecta 1-3-4 716.00 $2 Superfecta 1-3-4-2 1,211.00Results Chart Past winners of the Athenia
Left: La Cloche in the winner's circle. Trainer Jimmy Toner said, "John (Phillips, owner) will be thrilled about the graded stakes win. That's all we've heard, ‘Gotta get a graded stakes, gotta get a graded stakes, gotta get a graded stakes!' Thank God, maybe she can get out of her (half) sister's (Winter Memories) shadow for a change. We're really happy for her." Junior rode a great race. He really did. He just waited and waited and tipped her outside. She's got to get outside, and she exploded at the end. This filly is difficult to ride; you have to know her. If everything goes right for her, she can get the job done."
Right: La Cloche circles after the race. Jockey Junior Alvarado said, "I just was waiting for my chance to move outside because she never runs one step on the inside. That was pretty much what I was trying to work out first. She was able to swing outside by the quarter pole, and after that I won't say it was really easy, but she took off. She really helped me and gave me a nice kick at the end."
Left: Second place finisher Embarr in the post parade. The 24-1 shot was last early under jockey Pablo Morales then rallied late to get second. She improved her record to 6 wins, 1 second, and 0 thirds in 14 starts, earning $173,484 for owner-trainer Susan Cooney.
Right: Third place finisher Laughing in the paddock before the race. The 5-2 second choice settled in fourth under jockey Cornelio Velasquez, then passed the tiring pacesetter to get third beaten 2 lengths. The Alan Goldberg trainee improved her record to 4 wins, 1 second, and 2 thirds in 10 starts, earning $228,855 for owner Richard Santulli.
Fourth place finisher and beaten favorite Ruthenia in the paddock before the race. The 6-5 favorite was 7th early under jockey Jose Lezcano, came out five wide for the drive to finish fourth beaten 2 1/4 lengths. The Christophe Clement trainee improved her record to 4 wins, 3 seconds, and 1 third in 3 starts, earning $250,635 for owner-breeder Virginia Kraft Payson LLC.
Boisterous leads down the stretch
Jockey Junior Alvarado sent Stormy Lord to the lead first time by and he set fractions of 24.72, 49.37, and 1:13.98 while pressed by 7-1 Bombaguia and 27-1 Tune Me In. Entering the stretch, Stormy Lord continued to lead, getting 1 mile in 1:38.16, but tired in the final furlong. Favorite Boisterous, fourth early, came out 5 wide into the lane and closed strongly to win going away by 2 lengths over 23-1 See Tobe in 1:50.28 over the good course. It was just a nose back to Tune Me In third.
# Horse Jockey Win Place Show 3 Boisterous Lezcano 4.10 3.10 2.50 8 See Tobe Pimentel 11.00 6.70 5 Tune Me In Maragh 7.70 Winning Time: 1:50.26 $2 Exacta 3-8 64.50 $2 Trifecta 3-8-5 497.50 $2 Superfecta 3-8-5-6 1,675.00Results Chart Past winners of the Knickerbocker
Left: Boisterous in the winner's circle. Buzz Tenney, assistant to winning trainer Shug McGaughey said, "He runs good over this course. He's been third in two Grade 1s here, and this is four races he's won over this course. Jose got him in a good position early in the race, and I think that's the key with him. I think he likes to get in position early, be patient, and find a hole to finish through."
Right: Boisterous heads to the starting gate. Jockey Jose Lezcano said, "He broke very good and I got the position I wanted. In the middle of the turn when everybody moved, I still had a hold. I didn't get shuffled back; I let them go. I didn't want to move yet. When I swung out, he gave me the kick I expected him to give me. He finished very good."
Left: Second place finisher See Tobe breaks from the gate. The 23-1 shot was last early under jockey Julian Pimentel, then closed late to nose out Tune Me In for second place money. He improved his record to 4 wins, 5 seconds, and 1 third, earning $200,461 for owner-trainer Gary Capuano.
Right: Third place finisher Tune Me In in the paddock before the race. The 27-1 longest shot stalked the pace in third early under jockey Rajiv Maragh but could not improve, finishing third beaten 2 lengths. The Bruce Alexander trainee improved his record to 5 wins, 7 seconds, and 5 thirds in 22 starts, earning $364,845 for owner Patricia Generazio.
In the 5th race for maiden special weight 2-year-old colts, first time starter Rydilluc was very fractious in the paddock, rearing and bucking then tossing jockey Pablo Morales off. He was 27-1 and obviously left his race in the paddock, finishing next to last.
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