Black Seventeen Surprises in Vosburgh

Black Seventeen Surprises in Vosburgh
Photo: Coglianese Photos
Black Seventeen gets his head in front at the finish of the Vosburgh.
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From the New York Racing Association

Battling saddlecloth-to-saddlecloth with Fabulous Strike through the final yards, a determined Black Seventeen, the longest shot in the field at 23-1, got a head in front at the wire to take the $400,000 Vosburgh Stakes (gr. I) over a sloppy Belmont Park surface in New York Sept. 27.

Ridden by Clinton Potts and trained by Brian Koriner, the California-based 4-year-old son of Is It True sat just behind the leaders as Fabulous Strike, J Be K, and First Defence wrangled through an opening quarter mile in :21.75. With the half going in :44.31, Black Seventeen launched his bid on the outside and collared Fabulous Strike in midstretch to prevail in 1:09.77 for the six furlongs.

“He always tried hard for me,” said Potts, who with the victory scored the second grade 1 win of his career. “I knew he would like the slop because he ran well on it last year at Calder. I certainly didn’t look up at the odds board. He was a longshot, but I was not disappointed at that.”

Fabulous Strike, the 2007 Vosburgh winner who was the second choice in the field of seven, was three-quarters of a length in front of Kodiak Kowboy, who in turn was followed by Rockerfeller, J Be K, favored Lucky Island, and First Defence.

“He ran a good race,” said trainer Todd Beattie of Fabulous Strike. “He ripped his shoe off in the paddock and bent his shoe up. He had to run with a shoe that was sprung on him the whole way. I thought, considering that, it was a considerably good effort.”

Black Seventeen, who returned $49.60 for a $2 win bet, boosted his bankroll to $536,077 with the victory, his fourth in 10 lifetime starts and his first in more than 14 months. Off nearly a year with ankle problems after his last trip to the winner’s circle, on July 17, 2007,  in the Carry Back Stakes (gr. II) at Calder Race Course, Black Seventeen returned in June of this year to finish second in Oakland Stakes at Golden Gate Fields, was fifth in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt (gr. II) at Saratoga Race Course in July, and in his last start prior to the Vosburgh was second at Del Mar in the Pirate’s Bounty Handicap.

“That was a long way to come to be 23-1 but this horse has won on this kind of racetrack,” said Koriner, who was saddling his first ever starter at Belmont Park. “We raced here instead of California because they have a new synthetic surface and I didn’t want to have to guess what it would be like.”

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