Streaking Bank Audit got past Sensibly Chic in the final stride to win the $150,000 Genuine Risk Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares by a nose Saturday at Belmont Park.
A $65,000 claim in July at Belmont, the 4-year-old Bank Audit won for the sixth time in the last eight starts. The 4-year-old daughter of Wild Rush, sent off at odds at 8-1, completed the six-furlong event in 1:09 3/5 on a fast track.
Norberto Arroyo, who has been aboard Bank Audit for five of the victories during her current streak, took advantage of a sizzling pace set by Forest Music (:21 2/5, :43 4/5) to run down Sensibly Chic, who caught the pacesetter at the sixteenth pole. Forest Music held on for third, 5 1/2 lengths behind, with Forty Moves a length back in fourth.
Outrun early, Bank Audit picked it up while approaching the stretch four wide, digging in on the outside to just get past Sensibly Chic, who was ridden by Cornelio Velasquez, in a well-timed move from Arroyo.
The grade I winner Friendly Michelle, 2-1 favorite in the field of nine, was never a factor under John Velazquez in her first start since Oct. 15. She carried top weight of 119 pounds, two more than the winner, and finished fifth, beaten by more than seven lengths.
"I was in great position, she just didn't have it," said Velazquez. "She didn't punch. She warmed up great, she warmed up like a million dollars. She just never picked it up."
Travelator, Smokey Glacken, Forestier and Lilah trailed. Elusive Diva scratched.
Frank Laboccetta trains Bank Audit, who earned $90,000 for owner Robert Amendola. Bank Audit, who won the seven-furlong Distaff Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Aqueduct March 26, was coming off a fifth-place finish in the one-mile Bed of Roses Breeders's Cup Handicap (gr. III) on a good track at Aqueduct.
"The plan was to give her seven or eight weeks," Labocceta said, "but two weeks after the race, I called Mr. Amendola and said, `We got to think of a Plan B because the filly is doing too good.'"
Bank Audit has a lifetime record of 9-5-3 in 22 starts and earnings of $444,261. Bred in Virginia by Morgan's Ford Farm, she was claimed away from trainer John Parisella last summer. Bank Audit is now 2-1-1 in five starts at Belmont Park.
"You can't rush her," Laboccetta said. "If you rush her, she is just going to give you what she has and have nothing for the last part."
She paid $18.80, $9 and $5.30. Sensibly Chic returned $9.60 and $5.50 as part of the $146 exacta. Forest Music, ridden by Jason Lumpkins, was $5.60 to show and completed a $1,272 trifecta.