Country Hideaway Closes for Vagrancy Win

Country Hideaway rallied four-wide on the turn and closed through the stretch to win Saturday's $109,400 Vagrancy Handicap (gr. III). On a fast track, she completed the 6 1/2-furlong Belmont co-feature in 1:17.05 under Jerry Bailey.

Hurricane Bertie was sent to the lead and established inside position while setting early fractions of :22.41 seconds and :45.81 seconds. She expanded her lead out of the turn but was caught by Country Hideaway in the final sixteenth, losing by 3/4-lengths.

"I tried to be patient with her (Country Hideaway)," said Bailey. "When I went, I went kind of hard with her and when she turned for home, she kind of floated out a little bit and that might have cost her a length. She was running so fast she couldn't keep the turn."

Imperfect World finished third, followed by Foil, Close Cut, La Galerie, and Her She Kisses.

Four-year-old Country Hideaway (Seeking the Gold--Our Country Place, by Pleasant Colony) has won seven of nine career starts and is unbeaten when racing at less than a mile. As a 3-year-old, the Claude (Shug) McGaughey trainee won the First Flight Handicap (gr. II) as well as three allowance races and a maiden race. The Ogden Phipps homebred won $65,640 with the win, her second victory of the year. In her previous start this year, she won a 6 1/2-furlong allowance race by 1 1/2 lengths.

In the third race at Belmont Park Saturday, Matlacha Pass, a full sister to Country Hideaway, won a seven furlong allowance race in her second career start. Matlacha Pass is a 3-year-old Phipps homebred trained by McGaughey. (Chart, Equibase)