Stirring Cornhusker BC Win for Dry Martini

Carol and George Nyren's Dry Martini showed plenty of determination while coming from well off the pace under jockey Elvis Trujillo to win the $300,000 Cornhusker Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) (VIDEO) at Prairie Meadows Saturday night.

The 4-year-old Dry Martini recorded his third successive victory for trainer Barclay Tagg, defeating Silent Pleasure by 1 3/4 lengths in the 1 1/8-mile Cornhusker. Patriot Act, the slight 5-2 choice of the public over Dry Martini, settled for third, three lengths behind the winner. The final time was 1:48 2/5 on a fast track.

Dry Martini carried 115 pounds to victory, six less than the top-weighted runner-up.

Reserved early by regular rider Trujillo, Dry Martini began to move up on the backstretch and weaved his way through traffic in the final turn to reach contention in third in the stretch. Under steady pressure from Trujillo, Dry Martini gradually gained the lead at the sixteenth pole and proved best in the final stages.

After breaking alertly, Jonesboro set a comfortable early pace -- :23 4/5, :48 2/5 and 1:12 2/5 -- before being headed on the far turn by Silent Pleasure, who opened up a clear advantage in the stretch for Tracy Hebert. Silent Pleasure was worn down late, however, by the relentless Dry Martini. Patriot Act, given a stalking trip along the inside by Robby Albarado, lost ground on the final turn but finished up well to gain third by a half-length over Jonesboro, who was ridden by Jamie Theriot.

A gray gelding by Slew Gin Fizz--Jon's Kimberly, by Criminal Type, Dry Martini made it back-to-back graded stakes wins with the victory. The Florida bred earned his first black type triumph when he captured the Memorial Day Handicap (gr. III) at Calder Race Course by one length on May 28. He has won six of 14 lifetime starts with earnings of $39,495. Saturday night's purse was $180,000.

Carol and Marty Hershe bred Dry Martini, who paid $7.20, $3.80 and $2.60. Silent Pleasure returned $4.80 and $3. Patriot Act was $2.60 to show. Jonesboro was followed by Wayzata Bay, Barbican, More Than Regal, Smokeyjonessutton and Deputy Glitters. Alpha Tejano scratched.

(Chart, Equibase)

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