Germania Farms' Abbondanza received a rail-skimming ride from Ramon Dominguez and held off the late rally of Bwana Charlie to win the $100,000 Hirsch Jacobs Stakes by a head on the Preakness undercard Saturday.
The 3-year-old son of Alphabet Soup
covered the six furlongs in 1:10.72.
A field of nine sophomores went to the post in the Hirsch Jacobs following the scratches of Wild Wildcat and Tiger.
Penn Pacific broke sharpest of all and quickly grabbed the early lead under Edgar Prado. Bound for Victory and Move to Strike tracked the leader behind a blistering opening quarter in :22.66. Abbondanza was along the rail in midpack early. Penn Pacific carried the field through a half in :45.28 as Move to Strike moved up into the second position.
Dominguez, winning his third consecutive Hirsch Jacobs, kept Abbondanza on the rail, and as they turned for home, a seam opened up. The pair fought their way to the leader, but by then, the Steve Asmussen-trained Bwana Charlie was gearing up while coming wide with his move under Shane Sellers.
"We kind of figured they'd battle it out early," Dominguez said. "We stayed back. There wasn't much room when we made our move. We squeezed through there. He was very, very game."
Abbondanza inched clear of Penn Pacific in the stretch after five furlongs in :57.76 and held on over Bwana Charlie's late run. Penn Pacific held third, another three-quarters of a length back. Teton Forest, the 8-5 favorite, finished fourth.
"He had a real good run," Sellers said. "I got right up to him (the winner), maybe put a neck in front, but he came back and got me because he probably got a better trip on the inside."
Redskin Warrior, the 5-2 second choice, was fifth, with Snow Eagle, Excellent Band, Bound for Victory and Move to Strike following.
The winner paid $12.20, $6.40, and $4.60. Bwana Charlie returned $5.80 and $4.20. Penn Pacific paid $4.60 to show. The exacta, 2-8, paid $98.40.
Abbondanza, trained by Tommy Tullock, entered the race off a second-place effort behind Forest Danger in the seven-furlong Bay Shore Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct on April 10. Prior to that effort, Abbondanza won an initial allowance race at Laurel Park on March 20. He's won three of five lifetime starts with earnings of $133,305.
"I'm always worried about the rail here, but he took to it real good," the Laurel Park-based Tullock said. "We learned he could close in the Bay Shore. He made a real run at the winner there. He just wasn't good enough that day."
Bred in Florida by Tony Bowling, Bobby Dodd, and MR Stable, Abbondanza was a $65,000 sale 2-year-old last February at the OBS Calder sale. He is out of the Centrist mare Katie McLaury.