It was the third consecutive win for Snake Mountain, who scored on the main track at Aqueduct in the Stuyvesant Handicap (gr. III) Nov. 5 in her last outing.
With Jarf, Pleasant Breeze and Cat's At Home setting a strong pace of :23 2/5; :47 4/5 and 1:11 3/5 in the 1 3/16-mile Queens County, Snake Mountain was able to save ground to the quarter-pole. When Santos gave him his queue, the 4-year-old gelded son of A.P. Indy, who carried top weight of 117 pounds, circled the leaders and drew off for the victory in 1:56.84.The James Jerkens-trained winner boosted his career record to seven wins in 14 starts, with earnings of $310,607 after picking up a $66,000 winner's share."We were in good position," Santos said. "The track is in really good shape. We really fell into a good trip. He really just relaxed on the backstretch. We had to go a little wide today. But it doesn't matter. This horse keeps digging and digging. He's a nice horse and I think he is still improving."Jack Shelley, part owner of Snake Mountain, said that the Aqueduct Handicap on Jan. 18 would likely be the horse's next start."We were a little concerned with the track because it looked like it was favoring inside speed and this horse is a bit of a plodder," Shelley said. "Jose said he didn't have a problem with the track at all and he could have made the lead at any time. This was his best race today."Snake Mountain paid $5.90, $3.80 and $2.60 as the 19-10 favorite in the field of seven. Docent ($4.40 and $3.20) was 2 3/4 lengths ahead of Cat's At Home, who paid $4.10 to show. Pleasant Breeze was a half-length back in fourth.