Heckle Jabs His Rivals in Tremont Stakes
Dogwood Stable's Heckle broke alertly with jockey John Velazquez and sped home unchallenged in the stretch to post an easy victory in Saturday's $110,200 Tremont Stakes (gr. III) for 2-year-olds at Belmont Park.The Todd Pletcher-trained son of Hennessy atoned for a poor performance in his last start, a fourth-place finish at odds of 1-2 in the Three Chimneys at Churchill Downs on May 3, with a 3 1/4-length victory over Adage. Hasslefree was third, a length farther back. The final time for the 5 1/2-furlong Tremont was 1:04 3/5 on a fast track. Heckle opened up a six-length lead when roused in the stretch and won driving."I pressed the button at the quarter-pole and he accelerated," Velazquez said. "He did it nice and easy." Best To Be King, the 6-5 favorite in the field of seven, faded to sixth after chasing Heckle through fractions of :22 1/5 and :57 4/5. Adage came on for second on the inside, overtaking Hasslefree in the final furlong after finding his stride late for jockey Edgar Prado.Heckle broke his maiden in his debut on a muddy track at Keeneland by 12 1/2 lengths. He has now won two of three starts while pushing his career earnings to $103,045. He earned $66,120 for Saturday's win."I thought that was an excellent field," Pletcher said. "Anytime you can win open lengths over a field like that, it's pretty impressive." Bred in Kentucky by Gaines-Gentry Thoroughbreds and Orpendale, Heckle is out of the Spectacular Bid mare Bid Me Adieu. He was purchased at Keeneland in July for $90,000.The 5-2 second choice, Heckle paid $7.90, $4.90 and $3.70. Adage returned $8.30 and $5.10. Hasslefree, ridden by Jose Santos, paid $5.30. The $2 exacta was worth $61.50.Bossanova romped to a 13 1/4 -length victory in the $117,000 Mike Lee Stakes for New York bred 3-year-olds. Under Edgar Prado for trainer James Bond, the Pine Bluff colt went seven furlongs in 1:22 4/5 to earn $70,200 for Lorraine and Rod Rodriguez with his first win in four starts this year. Bossanova returned $3.40, $2.40 and $2.10. Acceptable Venture was second, paying $2.80 and $2.30. Looking Grand was $3.10 to show.(Chart, Equibase)
Date Posted: 6/28/2003 4:37:29 PM
Last Updated: 6/28/2003 7:51:25 PM
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