Grade I winner Sean Avery returned to action following a 13-month layoff to capture the minor Affiliate Stakes by 2 1/4 lengths on opening day of the fall meet at Belmont Park Sept. 8 (VIDEO).
Sean Avery, second choice in a field of four, was making his first appearance for trainer Allen Iwinski and Black Swan Stable since winning the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (gr. I) at odds of 17-1 at Saratoga Race Course Aug. 7, 2011. He reportedly bowed a tendon while training for the Vosburgh Invitational (gr. I) last fall.
Sean Avery was scheduled to return in the Turf Monster Handicap (gr. III) at Parx Racing on Labor Day, but the ground came up soft and Iwinski scratched him.
Racing third, the 6-year-old Cherokee Run gelding came off the corner four wide for jockey Joe Bravo in the six-furlong Affiliate and chased down 7-5 favorite Royal Currier at the sixteenth pole to win edging away. The final time was 1:11.46 on a main track that was listed as fast but on the heavy side during a showery and windy afternoon.
Sean Avery, who missed his entire 4-year-old campaign with a similar injury, won for the seventh time in 11 lifetime starts. He has finished out of the money just once.
Out of the Forest Wildcat mare Latin Lynx, the bay was bred in Kentucky by Darley. Sent off at odds of 17-10, Sean Avery paid $5.40 to win.
Zero Rate Policy rallied for second by a nose in the $76,000 stakes with Royal Currier third. Pacesetter Crossbow (:22.06, :45.39) trailed. Sam Sparkle was scratched.