Sands Point Switch Turns On Savedbythelight

(from track report)
Days of rain forced the $114,600 Sands Point Stakes off the water-logged Belmont Park turf Sunday and enabled main-track-only Savedbythelight to draw off and win the depleted 1 1/8-mile Father's Day stakes race in 1:49 on a fast track.

Eleven starters, including seven of the 10 expected grass entrants, were scratched, leaving a field of five.

Savedbythelight, who wore No. 15 under jockey Richard Migliore, coasted behind pacesetter Virgin Voyage (fractions of :23 1/5, :46 2/5 and 1:10 4/5) until the turn for home. Then she easily took the lead and pulled away from the field of 3-year-old fillies by 5 3/4 lengths.

"She was a well-prepared, well-placed filly," said Migliore, a father of four. "This was a great weekend. I had my family here today, so that always makes it nice."

Owner Earle I. Mack will get a first-place check for $68,760.

Savedbythelight, a dark bay 3-year-old Kentucky-bred filly by Saint Ballado, increased her career record to 2-2-1 from six starts with earnings of $157,244.

Savedbythelight paid $13.20, $5.90 and $3.90 as the longest in the five-horse field. Virgin Voyage, ridden by Jose Santos, finished a head in front of Little Bonnet and returned $5.80 and $3. The latter, ridden by john Velazquez, showed for $2.60. Fircroft, the 8-5 favorite ridden by Jerry Bailey, was fourth.

"It looked like she got a good trip," said winning trainer Richard Violette Jr., who admitted that he was disappointed when the race came off the turf and he was forced to scratch his turf horse One and Twenty. "I don't know where we're going next with (Savedbythelight), but I'm going to get dinner."

(Chart, Equibase)