Keyed Entry got out in the turn and Edgar Prado took advantage with 10-1 shot Will He Shine, shooting through and romping to victory by 1 3/4 lengths in the $200,000 True North Handicap (gr. II) (VIDEO), the first graded stakes on the Belmont day undercard.
John Velazquez put Keyed Entry on the lead in the six-furlong sprint with favored Bordonaro as the two traveled quarter splits of :22.07 and :44.38. But as they ran through the turn, Keyed Entry bore out and continued to do so in spite of Velazquez's best effort to put him straight. Bordonaro and Richard Migliore had the misfortune of being on their outside and was floated way out.
The incident cost the even-money favorite any shot of winning the race as Will He Shine and Prado went through on the inside, running five furlongs in :56.16 and six furlongs in 1:08.70.
“He broke well,” said Bordonaro’s jockey Richard Migliore, the longtime New Yorker who moved to California earlier this year. “Keyed Entry out-footed him in the first eighth. My horse was scrambling to keep stride and it took him about an eighth of a mile to find his stride. Once we caught up with Keyed Entry, that horse bore out really badly and took us out of the race.”
Track announcer Tom Durkin emphasized how wide the two were going by saying, “Keyed Entry is taking Bordonaro out to the Cross Island Parkway,” which runs beside the track.
Will He Shine, a 5-year-old horse by Silver Deputy, is trained by Dale Romans and owned by Savario Pugliese and Marc Wexler. He was winning for the fifth time in 12 starts and notched his first stakes victory. Will He Shine earned $120,000 and has now banked $309,241. The chestnut entered the race off a ninth place finish in the Jaipur (gr. III) on the turf and had lost five in a row since winning an optional claiming event at Aqueduct inn October.
“We told (Prado) in the paddock to just send him, don’t try to rate and make one run,” said trainer Dale Romans. “He took the race to them when it opened up and held them all off. I think the turf race gave him some bottom. I thought the turf race was a good angle; if he liked the turf, he could win a stakes on it. If he didn’t like it, it was a good work. I think he wants to sprint on the dirt. I don’t think he wants you to mess with him. He just wants to run.”
Of course, he got the chance to run when the hole opened up.
“(Keyed Entry) was bolting,” said Bordonaro’s trainer Bill Spawr. “Richie said he had to use him to keep him up there and to keep that other horse in. Otherwise, he was going to wipe us out. He just lost too much ground.”
Will He Shine was the first high price to win on the day, returning $22.80, $9.50, and 6.10. Entrymates Suave Jazz and Dashbord Drummer came on to get second and third, separated by a half-length and paying $7.10 and $6.70.
It was a neck back to Council Member, who rallied from last to finish fourth, followed by Sir Five Star, Joey P., Bordonaro and Keyed Entry.
The winner, out of the Star de Naskra mare Christmas Star, was bred in Kentucky by the late Verne Winchell.