Favored Blues Street circled the field on the final turn and proved best in the lane to win the $300,000 Mervyn H. Muniz Jr. Memorial Handicap (gr. IIT) (VIDEO) on the Fair Grounds turf March 27. The 1 3/4-length triumph was the fourth consecutive victory for Anstu Stables' son of Street Cry.
Ridden by Javier Castellano, Blues Street raced well off the pace in eighth for the first half-mile before winding up for his big run rounding the bend. He rallied steadily through the lane and drew off late to defeat Pick Six, Transduction Gold and pacesetter Jet Propulsion, who led by three lengths at the eighth pole but could not hold on. The winning time was 1:50.10 for the 1 1/8-mile event on firm going.
Trained by Todd Pletcher, the 6-year-old Blues Street won the 1 1/8-mile Fair Grounds Handicap (gr. IIIT) Feb. 20 in his tune-up for the Muniz and produced nearly a carbon copy of that late-charging 2 1/2-length win here.
Pick Six, sent off at 30-1, could not match the winner while gaining the runner-up spot by a head over 68-1 Transduction Gold and Miguel Mena. Jet Propulsion, who posted fractions of :24.18, :49.09 and 1:12.84 while building a commanding lead for Shaun Bridgmohan, drifted in as he tired in the drive for the wire.
Blues Street, a gelding, earned $180,000 for his eighth win in 22 starts and has now banked $487,178. Out of the Capote mare Capote Blues, Blues Street was bred in Kentucky by Harriet Finkelstein.
The winner carried co-high weight of 119 pounds as the 5-2 choice and paid $7.60, $4.40 and $3.20. Pick Six, who was also second in his only other start on the Fair Grounds turf, returned $17.80 and $12.20, completing a $195.60 exacta. The $2 trifecta with Transduction Gold ($18.40 to show) was $4,085.40.
It was a neck to Jet Propulsion, who was followed by Yate's Black Cat, second choice El Caballo, Feels All Right, Baletti, My Happiness and Pickapocket. Red Alert Day was scratched, as was Stones River, who ran in the New Orleans Handicap (gr. II) a race earlier.