James F. Edwards' Princess Dixie controlled the pace with a gate to wire victory in Sunday's $114,300 Mount Vernon Handicap for New York-bred fillies and mares at Belmont Park.
Trained by H. James Bond, the 4-year-old daughter of Dixie Brass covered the 1 1/8 mile over the muddy main track in 1:49 2/5. The race was originally carded for the turf.
"She was up closer today than usual because nobody wanted to take the lead," said winning jockey Edgar Prado. "I just let her go nice and easy. She's one of those horses that likes competition. She pulled away from one horse on the turn and slowed down. When she saw the other horse coming, she picked it back up again."
The victory, Princess Dixie's sixth in 15 starts, was worth $68,580, improving her career bankroll to $405,681.
Princess Dixie returned $8.90, $4.00, and $2.70. It was three-quarters of a length back to the runner-up, closer Along Came Mary, who returned $3.90 and $2.60. Third-place finisher Moonlightandbeauty returned $2.50 to show.