Perfect Sting Wins New York Handicap

Joe Orseno trainee Perfect Sting rallied through the stretch to win the $250,000 New York Handicap (gr. IIT) by a head over pacesetter Snow Polina Saturday at Belmont Park. The 4-year-old daughter of Red Ransom completed the 1 1/4 miles in 2:05.36 over soft turf.

Snow Polina was unpressured through slow early fractions of 25.43, 50.40, and 1:14.65 and held a 1 1/2-length advantage at the stretch call after a mile in 1:39.16. Despite conceding six pounds to Snow Polina, 122 pound highweight Perfect Sting closed the gap, taking the lead in the final strides under jockey Jerry Bailey. Pico Teneriffe finished 4 1/2 lengths farther back in third. Innuendo came home fourth, followed by Colstar, Emanating, Spanish Fern, and La Ville Rouge.

Perfect Sting improved her career record to 11 wins from 16 starts while earning owner Stronach Stable $150,000 for the win. Perfect Sting won the Just A Game Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT) by a nose on June 10 after winning the Beaugay Handicap (gr. IIIT) by a half length in her 2000 debut. She capped her sophomore season, which included wins in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes (gr. IT) and Garden City Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IT), with a respectable sixth-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Fillies and Mares Turf (gr. IT). Perfect Sting was bred in Kentucky by Frank Stronach.

Perfect Sting returned $4.30, $2.80, and $2.50 across the board. The winning exacta combination was worth $29.40. (Chart, Equibase)