OZONE PARK, N.Y.— Robert J. Amendola’s Evvie Jets made the grade with an impressive 1 1/4-length score in Saturday’s Grade 3, $150,000 Noble Damsel, a one-mile inner turf test for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up at Belmont at the Big A.
The victory also provided trainer Mertkan Kantarmaci his first graded win, avenging a narrow neck defeat to Love And Thunder in the nine-furlong Grade 3 Athenia on September 24 here.
Evvie Jets, who set the pace in the Athenia, stalked from second position on Saturday as Por Que No set honest splits of 23.98 and 48.60 over the firm going. The Eric Cancel-piloted Evvie Jets advanced late in the final turn and took over at the eighth pole, drawing off to win in a final time of 1:35.65 with the Christophe Clement-trained duo of Plum Ali and Messidor completing the trifecta.
With Kantarmaci traveling in England, Evvie Jets was saddled on Saturday by his brother and assistant trainer, Ilkay, who said the turn back in distance benefitted the talented 4-year-old daughter of Twirling Candy.
“Last race, Eric told me that she was on top and doing really good, so we kind of knew she was going to get the job done today. She was training great,” Kantarmaci said. “I think she can do anything. She can be in the front. She can come from behind.”
Evvie Jets was claimed for $80,000 by her current connections out of a runner-up effort in an optional claimer last September at Belmont and has posted a 7-for-9 in-the-money record since.
Evvie Jets, who exited the race in good order, will likely target the $135,000 Forever Together traveling 1 1/16 miles over the turf on November 20 at the Big A.
NYRA Press Office
Photo: Evvie Jets victorious in the G3 Noble Damsel (Susie Raisher)
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