Hello Liberty switched to the rail in deep stretch and passed tiring frontrunner Win McCool to win the $205,600 Nassau County Breeders' Cup (gr. II) on Saturday at Belmont Park.
Hello Liberty, under Norberto Arroyo Jr., finished the seven-furlong race for 3-year-old fillies in 1:22 3/5 over a fast track.
"The race set up very well for us," said winning trainer Larry Jones. "She has proven to be gutsy and versatile."
Hello Liberty -- a 3-year-old bay filly by Forest Camp
out of Witness Post, by Gone West
-- won $124,560 for owners John Ferris, Mike Riley, David Gamble and Jones. She improved her record to 4-2-1 from seven starts and boosted her earnings to $233,314.
Win McCool, under Richard Migliore, went to the lead in the six-horse field and set fast fractions of :22 1/5, :44 3/5 and 1:09.
"I knew Mig's filly was running really, really fast because my filly was running so hard," Arroyo Jr. said. "I thought I would be able to overtake her at the top of the stretch, but she kicked on and I thought it would be hard to get to her after that."
At the top of the stretch, Hello Liberty was the only horse making a move toward the frontrunner. In midstretch, Win McCool began to feel the toll of the early pace and began to drift out. Arroyo Jr. moved Hello Liberty from the middle of the track to the inside, got past Win McCool and won by a neck.
"Going inside was just a split-second decision," Arroyo Jr. said. "I saw Mig's filly started to drift. If I try to go around her, maybe we get beat."
Swap Fliparoo, under Andrew Lakeman, finished third. How True It Is, who was two-for-two entering the race, finished sixth and last.
Hello Liberty, who could next run in the $250,000 Acorn (gr. I) at Belmont on June 10, paid $21.20, $9.50 and $4. Win McCool paid $7.20 and $3.80. Swap Fliparoo paid $3.10 to show.