Outperformance came wide with a big rush to win the $115,400 Hill Prince Stakes (gr. IIIT) on a soft turf course at Belmont Park Friday afternoon.
Spider Power came up the hedge for second. Carnera, who found the lead at the eighth pole, was third.
A Kentucky-bred son of Aptitude
, Outperformance is out of the Bel Bolide mare Devine Pet. The 3-year-old was bred by Richard and Nancy Kaster. He is owned by Klaravich Stables and trained by Richard Violette Jr.
Violette, who sent out two winners on the day, will saddle High Finance in tomorrow's Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
Outperformance, ridden by Javier Castellano, had one horse beaten with a quarter-mile to run but was making up ground along the inside on the turn. The bay colt switched to the outside, responded to rousing from his rider, and cleared off in the late stages to win by 1 1/2 lengths.
"We wanted to take him back and make one run," Violette. said. "And I thought we were in great position to do that after a half-mile. When he kept backing up, I wondered what the heck (Castellano) was doing. When I asked Javier after the race, he said he wasn't handling the soft turf all that well. He took a hold of him to see if he could give him some support. It worked. He found a good place to angle out to. He's got that good leg kick, and he's a pretty nice horse. "
Mr. Silver set the early pace in the Hill Prince, getting the opening quarter in :24.03 and half in :48.07. He was tracked by Black Snake and Transit of Venus. Carnera stalked in fourth.
Turning for home, Carnera came off the rail to overtake Mr. Silver for the lead after six furlongs in 1:12.44. He hit the front under Eibar Coa, but was unable to hold off Outperformance. Spider Power, who steadied entering the stretch, got second under Jose Santos by three-quarters of a length. The winner hit the line in 1:36.74 over the rain-soaked Widener turf course.
The winner, a $240,000 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-year-old sale last May, returned $15.40, $8, and $5. The Irish-bred Spider Power paid $8.90 and $5.80. Carnera returned $11.60 to show. The 7-4 exacta paid $76.50.
To Sender, Noble Deeds, Transit of Venus, Mr. Silver, Great Basil, Black Snake, and Glory for Gold trailed, while Platinum Couple, Preah Kahn, Saint Daimon, Tahoe Warrior, and Tasteyville were scratched.
Castellano was fresh off a victory in the Preakness (gr. I) aboard Bernardini at Pimlico three weeks ago.
"He finished very, very good." Castellano said. "When I rode him the first time on the turf at Gulfstream, he came all the way from last. The last two races, I kept him close, but he didn't seem to finish that well. Today, I thought I would take him back and let him finish, and he did."
It was the first stakes attempt for Outperformance. After breaking his maiden in his initial turf try Jan. 25 at Gulfstream, Outperformance ran second in a mile turf allowance at Keeneland April 26 before running second again -- this time to Spider Power -- in a 1 1/16-mile allowance over the Belmont turf course May 18. He earned $69,240 for the victory.
In the race before the Hill Prince, Capote's Crown
came up the rail on the turn to take the lead before running away with the $65,000 Queen of Song Stakes. Eldon Farm's 3-year-old filly by Capote out of the Magestrial mare Majesty's Crown got the six furlongs in 1:09.01.
Capote's Crown, bred in Kentucky by Avalon Farm, is trained by Kiaran McLaughlin. She returned $8.90 to win against just three rivals after there were six scratches from the race.
Wild Gams set the early pace, clocking splits of :22.41 and :44.82 in the race for sophomore fillies. She was met on the turn on her outside by favorite Khalila, also trained by McLaughlin, as Capote's Crown came at the leaders on the rail.
The winner was ridden by Kent Desormeaux. She was a $170,000 Keeneland September sale purchase. Graded stakes-placed last fall with a second-place finish in the one-mile Tempted Stakes (gr. III) at Belmont in October, Capote's Crown was coming off an optional-claiming victory at the same six-furlong distance May 4.
Earlier Friday, jockey Cornelio Velasquez rode four consecutive winners – Take the Bluff ($11); Private Town ($9.30); Boysik ($3.80) and Game Card ($4.80).