ELMONT, N.Y. – Chad Summers and J Stables’ Truth Hurts rallied impressively up the rail to capture the first division of Sunday’s $100,000 Pumpkin Pie, a seven-furlong sprint for fillies and mares 3-years-old and upward contested over a sloppy and sealed main track at Belmont Park.
Trained by Summers, and piloted to victory by Irad Ortiz Jr., Truth Hurts covered the seven furlongs in 1:24.99 for a two-length victory. It was the third career Pumpkin Pie victory for Ortiz, Jr., who previously won it in 2014 [Classic Point] and 2018 [Sower].
Breaking from post 5, Truth Hurts had to steady shortly after the start but Ortiz, Jr., remained patient aboard Truth Hurts while Victim of Love, Aunt Kat and Starfront all battled for the lead through an opening quarter-mile in 22.67 seconds.
Just inside the half-mile pole, Ortiz Jr., asked Truth Hurts to move closer to the leaders, all while saving ground on the rail. After a half-mile in 46.40, Truth Hurts moved into fourth as she began to pass tiring horses.
As the field entered the turn, Ortiz Jr., took advantage of an opening on the rail and overtook Victim of Love and Starfront. Truth Hurts, full of run, responded to right-handed encouragement from Ortiz, Jr., and held off the wide late rally of Never Enough Time.
The victory followed a pair of off-the-board efforts from Truth Hurts at Saratoga, including a close fourth in the Grade 2 Honorable Miss in July with Ortiz, Jr. aboard.
“I really didn’t want to be on the rail,” said Summers. “Irad said he got squeezed coming out of there and went to Plan B. He rode her in the Honorable Miss up the rail and he said he knew she didn’t mind being inside. He let her do her thing and it worked out well.”
Ortiz Jr., said he was aware that the race could develop into a speed duel between several horses.
“I knew some other horses had speed, but she’s been up close before in sprint races,” Ortiz, Jr. said. “I got some room to go on the inside. I asked her and she went forward and kept doing it. She responded really well.”
Summers said Truth Hurts, who captured an off-the-turf edition of the Perfect Sting in July at Belmont, will now target the one-mile Grade 3, $250,000 Go for Wand Handicap on December 4 at Aqueduct Racetrack.
“That’s been the plan all along. Hopefully, we can get a little graded black type on December 4. A mile should hit her right between the eyes,” Summers said.
Rounding out the order of finish was Union Maiden, Honor Way, Starfront, Victim of Love and Aunt Kat.
Truth Hurts returned $17.60 on a $2 investment. She improved her lifetime record to 13-4-1-1 and now has earned $262,075. Bred in Ontario by William D Graham, Truth Hurts is a daughter of Tonalist, out of the Distorted Humor mare Witty Gal.
Pumpkin Pie First Division Replay
Live racing returns Friday at Belmont Park with packed 10-race card which includes the $200,000 Ticonderoga for New York-bred fillies and mares going 1 1/16 miles on the turf; the $150,000 Tempted for juvenile fillies going a one-turn mile; the $100,000 Awad for juveniles going 1 1/16 miles on the turf; and the $100,000 Atlantic Beach, a six-furlong turf sprint for 2-year-olds. First post is 12:35 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.
NYRA Bets is the official wagering platform of Belmont Park, and the best way to bet every race of the fall meet. Available to horseplayers nationwide, the NYRA Bets app is available for download today on iOS and Android at www.NYRABets.com.
For info on the Best Breeders’ Cup Seminar click HERE.
David Blicksilver/NYRA Press Office
Photo: Truth Hurts (Joe Labozzetta)