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To Honor and Serve and jockey John Velazquez after winning the Remsen
The $200,000 Remsen Stakes (G2) features two-year-olds going 1 1/8 miles on the main track. Only 5 went to post on Saturday after 2 scratched out. Nashua Stakes (G2) winner To Honor And Serve was sent off as the heavy 3-5 favorite, winner of 2 straight starts after finishing 2nd in his career debut. In to challenge him included 4-1 second choice Mountain Town, second in the Champagne (G1) last out, and 9-2 third choice Buffum off his debut win.
To Honor and Serve leads in the stretch
To Honor And Serve went to the lead early and set easy fractions of 24.35, 47.69, and 1:11.18 over the fast main track, while being stalked a length behind by 15-1 longest shot Mucho Macho Man the whole way. Entering the stretch, jockey John Velazquez asked To Honor And Serve to draw off and he quickly opened up a 4 length lead mid-stretch through 1 mile in 1:36.61. Under a hand-ride he finished up 2 lengths ahead of Mucho Macho Man, completing the trip in 1:50.03. It was a long 3 lengths back to Mountain Town third.
# Horse Jockey Win Place Show 5 To Honor and Serve Velazquez 3.20 2.50 2.10 7 Mucho Macho Man Coa 6.10 3.10 3 Mountain Town Velazquez 2.60 Winning Time: 1:50.03 $2 Exacta (5-7) paid 20.60 $2 Trifecta (5-7-3) paid 47.00Results Chart
Right: Honor and Serve in the winner's circle. His trainer Bill Mott said, "He just breaks so well. On form, (John Velazquez and I) both could have imagined him being on the lead, but we thought (Buffum) would have shown a little more speed today, and actually we would have loved to have had a target. I think they gain a little more from it, and it's nice to have something to run at. It would have been nice to see him to have to pass somebody, but that's just the way the race turned out. I thought in the Nashua it looked like he won a little easier, but this was another 1/8 mile. Being in a two turn race might have been slightly confusing to him. As with any horse like him, we'll nominate him for everything in case there's a hiccup anywhere."
Left: To Honor and Serve heads out to the track before the race.
Right: To Honor and Serve leads first time by. His jockey John Velazquez said, "I let him do whatever he wanted to do - I didn't want to be on his mouth. He's still a big baby. He gets to the lead, and he gets to looking around. He hasn't put it all together yet. It was a good effort."
Left: Second place finisher Mucho Macho Man heads out for the post parade. His trainer Katherine Ritvo said, "He ran super today, super. He's maturing every race. He's a big baby, a late foal and he needs some time to mature. We'll see how he comes out of the race, take him to Florida, and see what happens." Jockey Eibar Coa added, "He never stopped trying, he never stopped running. Those other horses might be a little more mature than him at this point. But he's only going to improve."
Right: Third place finisher Mountain Town returns after the race. The 4-1 second choice stalked the pace 3rd under Cornelio Velasquez, and could not improve position, finishing 3rd beaten 5 lengths. The Rick Dutrow trainee improved his record to 1 win, 1 second, and 1 third in 3 starts, earning $101,000 for owner Paul Pompa Jr.
Dixie City (#1) leaps out of the gate in the Demoiselle
Dixie City took the lead immediately and set easy fractions of 24.20, 48.19, and 1:12.82 while being stalked by Full Moon Blues and Summer Laugh around the clubhouse turn and down the backstretch On the far turn, Dixie City accelerated away from the field, opening up by 6 lengths in mid-stretch through 1 mile in 1:38.74. Believe in A.P. put in a late rally from last but was left with too much ground to make up, as Dixie City cruised under the line 3 1/4 lengths in front in 1:52.84. It was a long 11 1/2 lengths back to 5-1 longest shot Tap For Luck third.
# Horse Jockey Win Place Show 1 Dixie City Lezcano 5.60 2.40 - 5 Believe in A.P. Dominguez 2.40 - 2 Tap for Luck Cohen - Winning Time: 1:52.84 $2 Exacta (1-5) paid 11.00Results Chart
Right: Dixie City returns after the race. Her jockey Jose Lezcano said, "Tony told me, 'Do whatever you have to do.' She broke so sharply I wasn't about to take hold of her. On the backside, I went inside, and she gave me a big run. When I saw Ramon Dominguez (aboard Believe in A.P.) I didn't know how much horse he had, but I knew I had more."
Left: Second place finisher and beaten favorite Believe in A.P. returns after the race. The even-money favorite raced last 4 lengths off the pace early under Ramon Dominguez, closed steadily late to get second beaten 3 1/4 lengths. The Rick Dutrow trainee improved her record to 1 win, 1 second, and 1 third in 6 starts, earning $194,700 for owner-breeder Jay Em Ess Stable.
Right: Third place finisher Tap for Luck heads out for the post parade. The 5-1 longest shot saved ground in 4th early under David Cohen, came out for room but was no match for the first two, finishing 3rd beaten 14 3/4 lengths. The Todd Pletcher trainee improved her record to 1 win, 1 second, and 1 third in 4 starts, earning $79,000 for owners Summit West Racing and Robert and Beverly Lewis Trust.
Also n the card were the Cigar Mile and Gazelle Stakes.
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