ELMONT, N.Y. – Klaravich Stables’ Gerrymander, who ran second in her stakes debut in her previous start last month in the Grade 1 Frizette, notched her first career stakes score by outdueling Magic Circle in the stretch to notch a victory by a half length in Friday’s $150,000 Tempted for 2-year-old fillies going a one-turn mile on Belmont Park’s main track.
The Tempted, the finale of the four stakes on a packed 10-race card, saw Gerrymander break on top from the outermost post as the 7-5 favorite led the seven-horse field through the opening quarter-mile in 24.56 seconds, the half in 48.38 and three-quarters in 1:12.50 over a fast track.
In the stretch, jockey Eric Cancel kept Gerrymander to the inside as Magic Circle, under Manny Franco, pressed her from the immediate outside. The duo remained on even terms in the final furlong but Gerrymander pressed on and completed the course in a 1:38.13 final time, winning for the second time in four career starts for trainer Chad Brown.
Gerrymander, bred in Kentucky by Town and Country Horse Farms and Pollock Farms, has finished first or second in each of her career starts, including a maiden-breaking win at second asking going six furlongs on August 29 at Saratoga Race Course. Brown moved the Into Mischief filly up in class in the one-mile Frizette on October 3 over Belmont’s Big Sandy, where she finished four lengths back to winner Echo Zulu before returning more than a month later to garner her first winner’s circle trip in a stakes contest.
“It felt great. She has a nice, moving action,” Cancel said. “She was very comfortable. I was very happy I got her to relax and go how I wanted. It’s the key [to get comfortable] because you don’t want to fight a horse too early. They won’t have the same kick at the end. I saw her replay last time and she didn’t break as good and tried to rush up a little bit. She still was game and was a good second. But today, my plan was to break out of there and wherever she wanted to be, just be comfortable. It ended up being on the lead and worked out well.”
Gerrymander returned $4.90 on a $2 win wager. She improved her career earnings to $235,500.
JW Singer’s Magic Circle, who ran fourth in the Frizette following a debut win on September 5 at the Spa for trainer Rudy Rodriguez, edged a surging Nest by a neck for second.
“Franco is one of the toughest riders to ride against; he’s very energetic and real strong and he gets everything he can out of his horse,” Cancel said. “I felt great being able to beat him back because it was head-to-head and she came back. My filly is really gutsy and has been working phenomenally in the mornings. I just hope she keeps on going the right way and they can get more victories with her.”
Following Nest was Sweet as Pie, Goddess of Fire, Surprisingly and Red Hot Mess completing the order of finish. Morning Matcha scratched.
Live racing resumes Saturday at Belmont Park with a 10-race card that includes four stakes, starting with the Grade 3, $150,000 Turnback the Alarm for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up going 1 1/8 miles on the main track and also including the $200,000 Mohawk for New York-bred 3-year-olds and up going 1 1/16 miles on the turf; the $100,000 Chelsey Flower for 2 year-old fillies contesting at 1 1/16 miles on the turf; and the $100,000 Stewart Manor for 2-year-old fillies going six furlongs on the inner turf. First post is 12 p.m. Eastern.
America’s Day at the Races will present daily coverage and analysis of the fall meet at Belmont Park on the networks of FOX Sports. For the complete broadcast schedule, visit https://www.nyra.com/belmont/racing/tv-schedule.