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Taste of Paradise and Garrett Gomez take the walk down Victory Lane after winning the Vosburgh.
The first stakes race on Breeders' Cup Preview Day was the $500,000 Vosburgh Stakes, a 6 furlong sprint on the main track for older horses and a major prep for the Breeders' Cup Sprint. Ten went to post in this Grade 1 event, with the two-horse entry of Lion Tamer and Pomeroy sent off as the lukewarm 2-1 favorites for owner Michael Tabor. Woke Up Dreamin was the 5-2 second choice off his consecutive victories in the True North Handicap and the Smile Sprint Handicap, while the two-horse Buckram Oak Farm entry of Silver Wagon and Tiger Heart were the 5-1 third choice.
16-1 outsider Uncle Camie got an uncontested lead down the backstretch and around the turn through a quarter in 21.96 and a half in 44.48, but quickly dropped out of it as the rest of the field got into the running at the top of the stretch. Tiger Heart, who saved ground along the inside early, came on late and grabbed the lead with a furlong to go, but the longest shot on the board, 26-1 Taste of Paradise, rallied strongly from eighth early to collar Tiger Heart inside the 1/16 pole and drew away to a 2 length win in a time of 1:08.82. It was just a neck back to the late-running Lion Tamer in third, and another head to Silver Wagon in fourth.
Check out the other races on the card: Jockey Club Gold Cup, The Beldame, Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational, and The Flower Bowl Invitational.
# Horse Jockey Win Place Show 8 Taste of Paradise Gomez 55.00 18.60 6.30 1A Tiger Heart Prado 4.10 2.40 2 Lion Tamer Velazquez 2.20 $2 Exacta (8-1) paid 354.50 $2 Trifecta (8-1-2) paid 917.00 Winning Time: 1:08.82Results Chart from DRF
Taste of Paradise in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Gary Mandella said, "We've been wanting to run him here at Belmont Park. He has been a little bit problematic, but he was training great and his feet are better than they have been in a while. He was a little hesitant at the top of the stretch, but when he saw daylight, he knew what that meant. He cut and he was gone. Garrett (Gomez) rode a great race. We'll take him back to California. I need to monitor his feed on a daily basis and we'll ship back here."
Taste of Paradise leaves the paddock for the track. Winning jockey Garrett Gomez said, "I worked him the other morning for the first time. I felt like the horse was comfortable coming off the backside. I was happy at the 3/8 pole. I started swinging around at the top of the stretch. I changed my mind and went and split horses. Then, when I put him out in the clear, he was running. I can't ask the horse to do any better than what he just did."
Second place finisher Tiger Heart heads to the track for the post parade. His trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. said, "I was expecting our horse to run good. I wasn't too concerned about the other ones. I'm disappointed we got beat, but he ran big. He broke good and I guess some of the other speed didn't. Edgar got him settled in nice and the horse usually does that. Turning for home, it seemed like (Mass Media) wanted to keep us down in there. He kept laying on us and laying on us and that might have cost us something but we weren't going to beat the winner today." Dutrow noted that Tiger Heart may not be able to get into the Breeders' Cup Sprint because this was only his first stakes race, but will enter if he qualifies. Jockey Edgar Prado added, "We had a nice trip; it couldn't have gotten better for us. He was there near the end, but just came up short."
Third place finisher Lion Tamer in the post parade. His jockey John Velazquez said, "Because of the way he breaks, he doesn't show much early. I really had to get into him to get him to run. Once I got him moving, he went with it and finished strong for third."
Eighth place finisher and the other half of the beaten favorite entry, Pomeroy, heads to the track for the post parade. His trainer Partick Biancone said, "Joe (Bravo) said he had some problems coming out of the gate. He said he got bumped. I have to watch the replay." Jockey Joe Bravo added, "It's just a shame - the whole thing. It just wasn't our day today. I really believe I was on the best horse. Both horses came in on us at the start. Turning for home, we were running with them, and then we got shutoff again. It's a shame we had to be in that predicament. There's no doubt in my mind I was on the best horse today."
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