Multiplication wavered late after being hooked by favorite Friendly Island through torrid front-running fractions of :22 1/5 and :44 1/5, but held on to win the $113,900 Mike Lee Stakes at Belmont Park Saturday.
In the stretch, Multiplication, who is trained by Bob Baffert, drifted out, but jockey Edgar Prado was able to keep him together all the way to the finish line. He won the seven-furlong race – the first leg of the OTB Big Apple Triple for 3-year-old statebreds – in 1:22 2/5 over the fast track.
"He's got that Californian speed," Prado said. "I was a little worried at the eighth pole because he had run so fast, but he kept giving me all he had. He dug in every step of the way."
Work With Me, under Robby Albarado, finished second. Swinging Ghost and Javier Castellano were third.
Multiplication – a New York-bred 3-year-old chestnut colt by Subordination
out of Triky Move (Tricky Creek) – earned $68,340 for owner James McIngvale. He is now 2-1-0 from four starts with career earnings of $102,740.
Even-money favorite Friendly Island, who won his debut by an impressive 17 ¼ lengths on June 6, wilted from the speed duel and faded to seventh under John Velazquez.