Eugene and Laura Melnyk's Fisher Pond drew into the Lawrence Realization Handicap (gr. III) when it was shifted from the turf to a sloppy main track and took full advantage, handily winning the 1 1/2-mile stakes by more than four lengths.Originally carded for the Widener Turf Course, the "Larry" was switched to the main track when rain Thursday, Friday and Saturday took care of turf racing.
The scratches of Racey Dreamer, Macaw, Battier, Finality and Chiseling reduced the field for the Lawrence Realization to five, including main track only runners Fisher Pond and Deeliteful Guy.
Fisher Pond, a son of A.P Indy, was the made the favorite of the crowd of 4,516, based mainly on a 15 ½-length victory in an off-the-turf maiden score on June 7. Racing with blinkers off, Fisher Pond and jockey John Velazquez rated just off Extra Check and jockey Frank Lovato Jr., who set the pace of :24, :48 4/5, 1:13 4/5 and 1:39 1/5. Fisher Pond then made his move, and while he had plenty to hold off Irish Colonial to win in 2:30 1/5, the stretch had its anxious moments for Velazquez."Todd and I talked and figured we would be on or just off the pace," Velazquez said. "When I called on him, he responded. I went to turn my stick at the top of the stretch, and it slipped out of my hands. He's lazy and he started pulling up. You have to keep after him. I grabbed my goggles and used those.""I knew Fisher Pond likes a wet track," said Pletcher. "He's an A.P. Indy and it looks like he's getting better with age. He likes these longer distances. Maybe we should try to shop around for a spot like this. He's lightly raced and we're both optimistic and realistic."
Irish Colonial, Extra Check and Deeliteful Guy completed the order of finish. Van Minister was eased, but managed to cross the finish line. Sent off as the heavy favorite, Fisher Pond paid $4.50, $2.80 and $2.10. Irish Colonial returned $3.10 and $2.10. The show price for Extra Check was $2.10. (Chart, Equibase)
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