Jerry Bailey had nowhere to go until deep stretch, but he found daylight at the right time to get heavily favored Perfect Sting home in the Just a Game Breeders' Cup (gr. III), the first stakes on the Belmont Stakes Day undercard.
Bailey just got by Ronda, under John Velazquez, to give Perfect Sting her second win in as many starts this year, and Bailey his third consecutive victory on the card. Interestingly, one of the riders was going to get his third win of the day, Velazquez winning the Daily Double.
Joe Orseno was at Belmont to saddle Perfect Sting after being hospitalized for two days complaining of abdominal pains. Doctors believe Orseno may have a hernia. Perfect Sting is a homebred for Frank Stronach. The 4-year-old filly is by Red Ransom out of the Valid Appeal mare Valid Victress.
Time for the mile on turf rated good was 1:34.48. The official margin was a nose, with Snow Polina another two back in third. Perfect Sting paid $3.30, $2.50 and $2.10. Ronda was worth $4.50 and $2.50, and Snow Polina returned $2.40.
Noting that Perfect Sting had to come from out of it for the win, Orseno said, "At the top of the stretch, my stomach started to cramp up again. Jerry said, 'Sorry to send you back to the hospital'." (Chart, Equibase