Iron Deputy Takes Count Fleet; Affirmed Success Second in Allowance

Susan and John Moore's Iron Deputy opened up a six-length lead in the stretch en route to winning Saturday's $83,300 Count Fleet Stakes by 2 3/4 lengths at Aqueduct. Slight favorite D' Coach closed for second, finishing 3 1/2 lengths ahead of No Parole in the one mile and 70 yards test for 3-year-olds. The winner completed the distance in 1:41.67 on a fast track.

Migliore said Iron Deputy didn't run professionally through the stretch as the lightly raced colt was bothered by tire tracks from the starting gate.

"Coming to the tire tracks, he had made such a nice run that I didn't want to get after him," he explained. "Then, his ears went up, he was looking at the tire tracks and he slowed down. When he got though the tire tracks, he dropped his head and took off again. The last 70 yards were better than the eighth of a mile before that. He galloped out well. He's a very smart colt."

Netcong came home fourth, followed by White Ibis, Dr. Rockett, Hero's Glow, Pal's Partner, and Oswayo. Saratoga Blues was scratched.

James Jerkens-trained Iron Deputy earned $49,980 for the win, his third in four starts and second straight in a listed stakes race. In November, he won Aqueduct's $82,500 Huntington Stakes following an October maiden win at Belmont Park. Iron Deputy (Silver Deputy--Femme De Fer, by Iron Duke) was bred in Kentucky by Jose Soriano and sold for $45,000 as a yearling.

"The leaders went too fast early on, and Iron Deputy was just starting to make his move when they were backing up," said Jerkens. "He trained like he wouldn't mind the distance, but you never know. He was able to sit in a perfect stalking spot. I think bringing him here to Aqueduct for a workout helped, especially since he hadn't been around two turns, and this track is usually slower than the training track at Belmont. The Whirlaway (Feb. 9) is a possibility, but I want to talk things over with the owners."

Iron Deputy returned $5.40 for the win and topped a $12 exacta.

One race earlier, Migliore and odds-on favorite Affirmed Success finished a half-length behind Boston Party in an allowance race at the Count Fleet distance after leading by three in the stretch. Boston Party gradually wore down Affirmed Success in the stretch before stopping the timer at 1:39.63. 42-1 longshot Baysil's Rhythm finished third, 5 1/2 lengths behind Affirmed Success. Shaun Bridgmohan guided Boston Party to victory.

A top-notch sprinter-miler, 8-year-old Affirmed Success last raced around two turns on the dirt in Deputy Commander's Travers Stakes (gr. I) in 1997, in which he finished fifth. (Chart, Equibase)