Affirmed Success, winning the Poker Handicap over In Frank's Honor.

Affirmed Success, winning the Poker Handicap over In Frank's Honor.

Exchange Rate Posts Narrow Upset in Tom Fool

Sent off at 6-1 odds, Padua Stable's Exchange Rate rallied in the stretch to catch Say Florida Sandy for a narrow victory in the grade II Tom Fool Handicap that was part of the holiday card at Belmont Park.

Here's Zealous jumped out to an early lead while being stalked by Exchange Rate, with Say Florida Sandy not far behind. After getting the first quarter mile in :22 1/5 and the half in :44 3/5, Here's Zealous relinquished the lead to Say Florida Sandy leaving the turn. After the six furlongs was completed in 1:08 2/5, Say Florida Sandy continued to lead on the inside. Meanwhile, Exchange Rate was set down for the stretch drive and just caught the leader prior to the wire. The final time for seven furlongs was 1:21 1/5.

Trained by D. Wayne Lukas, Exchange Rate paid $15.00, $6.00, and $3.60. Say Florida Sandy was worth $3.90 and $2.90 while Here's Zealous held on for third and paid $4.10.

The victory was the sixth in 15 career starts for Exchange Rate, a 4-year-old son of Danzig who improved his bankroll to $479,803.

In another sub-feature on Belmont's holiday card, top sprinter Affirmed Success posted his 14th victory in 30 starts with a front-running win in the grade III Poker Handicap.

Sent to post under jockey Jerry Bailey as the 3-5 favorite in the one-mile turf test, Affirmed Success set fractions of :23 2/5, and 1:10 2/5 for six furlongs. In Frank's Honor and Edgar Prado unleashed a strong stretch run but were unable to catch the winner, who stopped the timer in 1:34 3/5. Affirmed Success paid $3.20, $2.30, and $2.10, while In Frank's Honor was worth $3.20 and $2.20. Union One, up close throughout, held on for third and returned $2.30.

(Chart, Equibase)