Michael H. Sherman's favored Elegant Designer and jockey Mario Pino came with a late surge to collar Virgin Voyage and then held off that one's stablemate, Xtra Heart, by head to win Saturday's $81,450 Busher Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 mile.
"She had to fight hard and she was very game," said winning trainer Anthony Dutrow of the 3-2 favorite, who hit the wire in 1:45 1/5. " For her to run like that off a few months layoff in itself is impressive, but considering it was her first time around two turns, it was even more impressive."Cyber Secret, who is trained by Dutrow's brother, Rick, took the early lead with jockey Jean-Luc Samyn to set a moderate pace of :24 2/5; :48 3/5 and 1:12 4/5, while pressed by Virgin Voyage and jockey Javier Castellano, who was seeking his third straight victory of the afternoon.Winner of the Busanda in her last start here, Cyber Secret struggled coming off the turn, and Virgin Voyage assumed the lead.
With her late move, Elegant Designer appeared at one point to be coming up short. The Suave Prospect filly was chipping away the leader when Xtra Heart came with a powerful rush under Luis Castillo. Only the emergence of the finish line salvaged the victory for Elegant Designer, who notched her fourth straight and sixth in eight career starts.Elegant Designer returned $5.00, $2.90 and $2.70. Xtra Heart and Virgin Voyage paid $3.70 and $3.40 (Chart, Equibase)