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Irad Ortiz Jr. and Vyjack return after winning the 2014 Kelso Handicap
Kicking off the stakes action on Super Saturday at Belmont Park was the $400,000 Kelso Handicap (G2). A field of 7 older horses contested this 1 mile trip around 1 turn of Belmont Park's main track, with Whitney (G1) runner-up and Woodward (G1) winner Itsmyluckyday sent off as the 7-10 favorite. In to challenge him included 11-2 second choice Bradester, winner of the Ack Ack (G3), and 6-1 third choice River Rocks, winner of three straight in allowance company.
Vyjack rallies down the stretch.
Check out the other races on the card: Jockey Club Gold Cup, Joe Hirsch Turf Classic, The Beldame, The Vosburgh, and The Flower Bowl.
# Horse Jockey Win Place Show 3 Vyjack Ortiz Jr. 21.20 10.00 4.20 4 River Rocks Maragh 5.40 3.20 7 Itsmyluckyday Lopez 2.10 Winning Time: 1:34.05 $2 Exacta 3-4 151.50 $2 Trifecta 3-4-7 439.00 $2 Superfecta 3-4-7-6 3,517.00Results Chart
Left: Vyjack in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Rudy Rodriguez said, "Today, the key was coming out of the gate. Going a mile, he doesn't have to break as sharp as he needs to going shorter. Today, he broke well, put himself in a very good position and the pace was good for us. He did what we wanted him to do all along; he's a nice horse. To see him get beat was kind of hard, but he was running against some nice horses. To see him show up today was very, very special. Our main goal had been the Cigar Mile, but now I have to talk to the owner and see what his plans are now."
Right: Vyjack heads back to the barn after the race. Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. said, "When he broke well, he had a good chance. In his last couple of races he was missing the start. It's hard to miss the start and beat those horses. You have to break good. I brought him outside because I knew he likes to come around. I tried to do what's best for the horse."
Left: Second place finisher River Rocks returns after the race. The 6-1 third choice set the pace unde Rajiv Maragh but couldn't hold off the winner. The John Terranova trainee improved his record to 5 wins, 3 seconds, and 1 third in 11 starts, earning $306,350 for owners James Covello, Michael Imperio, and Half Hollow Racing.
Right: Third place finisher and beaten favorite Itsmyluckyday in the paddock before the race. Trainer Eddie Plesa said, "We got beat. That's why they race horses. They don't give you anything. I'm going to have to look at the race over again and see what I think. Maybe he was laying close, maybe he wasn't. I don't know what we'll do next. We'll get him back to the barn and see how he is."
Check out the other races on the card: Jockey Club Gold Cup, The Beldame, Joe Hirsch Turf Classic, The Vosburgh, and The Flower Bowl.
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