Presidentialaffair earned his first career stakes win with a gate-to-wire victory in the $110,300 Stuyvesant Handicap (gr. III) at Belmont Park Tuesday.
With jockey Richard Migliore aboard, Presidentialaffair hustled to the early and carved comfortable fractions of :24.42, :48.45, and 1:12.09 with Gander and Almuhathir close behind.
Presidentialaffair continued to lead after a mile in 1:37.21 and just held off the closing bid from Thunder Blitz to win by a neck. Thunder Blitz was a half-length clear of Gander for second. Saarland, the 1.30-1 favorite, finished sixth.
Presidentialaffair, sent off at odds of 7-1, completed 1 1/8-miles on a fast track in 1:50.86 and paid $16 to win.
A 4-year-old gelded son of Not For Love, Presidentialaffair entered off a second-place finish to Stuyvesant rival Docent in the Maryland Million Classic at Laurel Park Oct. 11. Earlier this year, Presidentialaffair was claimed for $20,000 by trainer Martin Ciresa on behalf of owners Vincent Papandrea and Edward Ciresa.
He has now win six of 12 career starts and the $66,180 winner's share pushed his earnings to $209,840.
"Like Richie (Migliore) said, the horse doesn't want to get beat," Ciresa said. "Our goal was actually to run in the Cigar Mile (Nov. 29), but I want to see how he comes back. We gave him 31 days this time, and I think it is 17 days to the Cigar Mile. And, if Congaree comes, it is going to be a monster race. It is not out of the question. We'll have to see how he comes back. He was tired."
"I've got no excuse," trainer Shug McGaughey said of Saarland's defeat. "Johnny (Velazquez) said he was going along perfect to the half-mile pole. From the half-mile pole home, he dropped the bit and didn't do any running at all."
Out of the Bear Hunt mare Quite Amazing, Presidentialaffair was bred in Pennsylvania by Will Run Farm.