Brandela, Big Tease Win Mount Vernon Divisions

(from Belmont Park reports)
Sorin's Stable's 6-year-old Brandala, overlooked by the Fathers' Day crowd of 19,982 at Belmont Park, overtook 13-1 longshot Lady Libby in the lane to win the $84,600 second division of the Mount Vernon Handicap for New York-bred fillies and mares at nine furlongs Sunday on the inner turf course.

Ridden by Jose Espinoza, the Tommy Walsh-trained Compliance mare scored the seventh win of her 38-race career by showing her considerable class. Favored On the Bus was third.

Brandala came from way off Private Port's early pace of :24 3/5; :49 1/5; 1:13 4/5 to win in 1:49 2/5.

"The pace was a little slow, but she has such a good turn of foot that it didn't matter," Walsh said. "Jose (Espinoza) ran such a super race on her. I was very surprised at her price. The favorite (On the Bus) had never faced the kind of horses (Brandala) had run against. I don't know what's next. We have a lot of options."

Brandala returned a generous $10.40, 4.60 and $2.80. Lady Libby paid $10.60 and $3.80 and On the Bus was $2.30.

(Chart, Equibase)

Two races earlier, Maggi Moss' Big Tease found room on the rail and used the clear path to register a 1 ¾-length victory in the $83,700 first division of the Mount Vernon Handicap.

On a course listed as "yielding" – it was upgraded to "good" after the first division was run – Ma Femme took jockey Julio Pezua out to an uncontested lead. They set a pace of :23 2/5; :47 1/5; 1:11 4/5, but were overtaken by Big Tease and jockey Richard Migliore, who came through on the rail, as well as Beebe Lake and Raffie's Dream.

"I kind of had the trip I wanted," said Migliore, whose mount hit the wire in 1:48 3/5. "I didn't want to be in front of the main contenders because then I would have been the hunted not the hunter."

It was the second win in eight starts this year for Big Tease.

The Gary Contessa-trained 4-year-old Gold Token filly returned $9.90, $5.10 and $3.50. Beebe Lake paid $4.60 and $3.50 and Raffie's Dream was $4.70.

(Chart, Equibase)