Dawn of Condor Springs Knickerbocker Upset

Rich Meadow Farm's Dawn of the Condor came up the rail under jockey Jorge Chavez on Saturday to win the 1 1/8-mile $150,000 Knickerbocker Handicap (gr. IIT) for 3-year-olds on Aqueduct's yielding turf course before a crowd of 5,755.

The victory came at the expense of front-running favorite North East Bound, who loped uncontested through fractions of :24 4/5; :50 4/5 and 1:15 4/5, but tired after battling 55-1 Ballet Critic through the lane. He finished sixth, but opened up room in the inside for Dawn of the Condor and Chavez, who scored his third winner of the afternoon with a daring rail move.

Jose A. Velez Jr., aboard North East Bound said, "I don't think this turf course favors speed. He ran hard. A mile and an eighth may be a bit too far for him. Ballet Critic got in front of him, he came back and put him away, but he wasn't good enough to hold off the others."

The winning time of 1:52 2/5 was good for a two-length victory.

Serial Bride, a recent gelding, beat Polish Miner by a neck for the place and completed a $2 exacta worth $198.50. Sent off at 7-1, Dawn of the Condor returned $16.80 to win for his eighth career victory.

"That was some ride by `Choppy' (Jorge Chavez) coming up the inside," said winning trainer Gary Sciacca. "We closed up the blinkers on Dawn of the Condor a little bit today. He got a good trip down inside. Last time, he got outside early and he doesn't want that. He wants to stay down inside and in a little bit of trouble. He
likes to fight for it. I told `Choppy' to keep him buried up a little bit."

(Chart, Equibase)