Sir Greeley Collars 'Money in Westchester Win

(from Belmont Park report)
Sir Greeley overtook tiring pacesetter Love of Money to win the $108,800 Westchester Handicap (gr. III) for 3-year-olds and up at a mile on opening day of Belmont Park's 59-day spring/summer meet.

Sir Greeley, sent off at 9-5, capped a huge day for trainer Jimmy Jerkens, who swept the opening daily double on the card.

A 4-year-old gelded son of Mr. Greeley owned by Mrs. Thomas Walsh and Timber Bay Farm, Sir Greeley entered the Westchester off a pair of neck losses, including one to Bishop Court Hill in Aqueduct's Carter Handicap (gr. I).

Wednesday, he and jockey Eibar Coa watched as Love of Money, breaking from the outside in post 7, opened a huge lead under jockey Edgar Prado. Love of Money, trained by Richard Dutrow Jr. had not raced since the Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) on May 30.

"I was concerned when Edgar's horse opened up that big lead," Coa said. "I wasn't sure how fit (Love of Money) was off the layoff. My horse was pretty comfortable and I knew he was going to make a good run. Once he switched leads, he took off. I thought he showed in his last race that he was better than these, if he got the right trip."

Love of Money set torrid fractions of :22.86; :46.62; and 1:08 .42. Sir Greeley simply measured him and went by in the final 70 yards for a three-quarter-length victory in 1:33.69. He returned $5.80.

"I'm glad that (Love of Money) didn't have another race under his belt," said Jerkens, who won the day's first race with Running Dog ($8) and the second with Lord Langfuhr ($6.30). "We were able to run our own race and finish strong.

"Sir Greeley has really been a nice surprise. I would have never thought he would turn out this good after his first couple of races. We'll take a look at the Met Mile, but I don't know if I want to do that to him."

The $600,000 Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) is Memorial Day, May 29.

Sir Greeley paid $5.80, $2.70 and $2.30. Love of Money returned $4 and $3.40. Happy Hunting paid $5.30 to show.

Gygistar's two-race winning streak in the Westchester ended with a fourth-place finish. He beat Kennel Up and Little Thunder.

Blazing Purrsuit was scratched in favor of a six-furlong inner turf sprint in Thursday's eighth race.

(Chart, Equibase)