Flagshipenterprise out-fought relentless Bond Arbitrage at Belmont Park on Sunday afternoon, pulling away to 4 ½-length victory in the $109,500 Bertram F. Bongard for 2-year-old New York breds at a mile.
Making his first start on the anti-bleeding medication Lasix and his first for trainer Ronny Werner, Flagshipenterprise and jockey Mark Guidry grabbed the lead and dueled with Bond Arbitrage and jockey Richard Migliore through fractions of :22 2/5; :46 and 1:11. But while the mud took its toll on his rival, Flagshipenterprise got stronger and finished up in 1:24 1/5.
"Actually, I just picked up this horse," Werner said. "I have to give thanks to (trainer) Leroy Jolley for what he did for this horse before I got him. He impressed me today, and I thought he finished up really strong. He galloped out strong with (Guidry) so it doesn't look like distance is going to hurt. I think he'll get a little better with distance."
Guidry also liked the way the son of Avenue of Flags handled his assignment.
"The plan was to let him break and see where we were," Guidry said. "He broke running, so I didn't want to take him back. He switched gears off the turn and dug in."
There is only one problem that Flagshipenterprise seems to have.
"He bit his tongue; he's one of those `bit-grinders,'" Werner said. "He actually did it in the paddock before he went out. If that's all he ever has, we're going to be in great shape."
Flagshipenterprise earned $65,700 for owners Windmill Manor Farm and Kathleen Schonefeld.
Bond Arbitrage was second, 4 1/2 lengths ahead of Saratoga Episode. Rb's Glitter, Aladdin's Lamp, Smokin' Kelly and favored Theconfidenceman were in tow.
The fifth choice in the field of seven, Flagshipenterprise paid $14.80, $7.10 and $5.40. Bond Arbitage returned $7.90 and $5. Saratoga Episode's show was $4.20.