Seconds before the race, India broke through the gate, slamming her head against the iron door. Although the track veterinarian deemed her fit to race after the incident, jockey John Velazquez felt the filly she should have been scratched. "My filly got all shook up there," he said. "I knew we should have scratched right then. She was so nervous and she has never been like that."Velazquez, as of Nov. 17, had earned $23,226,428 in purses this year, putting him $128,532 behind Jerry Bailey's single-season earnings record of $23,354,960 set in 2003. India vied for the lead for a little over a quarter mile once the race started, but stopped to a walk on the far turn. She was beaten almost 50 lengths by the winner Folklore, the likely 2-year-old filly champion for 2005. India exited the Matron with a bruised psych, a few missing teeth and a body that was deprived of oxygen after she displaced her soft palate.Trainer Todd Pletcher has given India plenty of time to get over the Matron. After spending most of October in Saratoga, the filly arrived at Belmont Park and has prepared for the Valley Stream across town. She is the likely favorite off her race two back, a huge 12-length maiden victory at Saratoga.Pletcher, meanwhile, is approaching the North American single-season record for earnings set in 2003 by Bobby Frankel of $19,147,129. Through racing November 17, Pletcher's total purse earnings were $18,571,492.Celestial Legend is undefeated in three out-of-town races, but steps up in class for her Aqueduct debut. A filly by City Zip , Celestial Legend owns victories at Delaware Park, Laurel Park and the Meadowlands. This Maryland-bred notched her first stakes victory late last month, taking the Big M's six-furlong Holly as the heavy favorite.Celestial Legend, who has a quick first gear, drew post 6 beneath jockey Edgar Prado. $100,000 Valley Stream (gr. III), 2-year-old fillies, 6 furlongs
PP. HORSE, TRAINER, JOCKEY, WGT.
1. Diamond Spirit, Allen Jerkens, Jose Santos, 116
2. India, Todd Pletcher, John Velazquez, 116
3. Miraculous Miss, Steve Klesaris, Ramon Dominguez, 118
4. Princess Sweet, Linda Rice, Cornelio Velasquez, 118
5. Sleeping, Gary Contessa, Eibar Coa, 118
6. Celestial Legend, Dale Capuano, Edgar Prado, 120