Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence's Financial Modeling was hustled from the gate by jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. and never looked back in the $100,000 Queens County Stakes Dec. 19 at Aqueduct Racetrack, picking up his first stakes score when galloping clear of 6-5 favorite Tommy Macho.
Video: Queens County S. (BT)
Sophomore Tommy Macho was alert from the gate and led for the first few strides in his first try against his elders, but 4-year-old Financial Modeling quickly shifted over from the outside spot in a field of six and opened a 1 1/2-length advantage while running a :24.15 opening quarter in the 1 1/8-mile test.
"The trainer said to go to the lead, so we warmed him up good and that was the plan," Ortiz said. "We put him on the lead and he relaxed so good for me and when I asked him, he was there for me. He was ready."
Discovery Handicap (gr. III) victor Tommy Macho tracked second throughout, but after Financial Modeling continued to open up under a hold down the backstretch, going a half in :48.12 and three-quarters in 1:12.05, the eventual winner kicked clear from the top of the lane to the wire, running a 1:36.76 mile while opening to a 4 1/4-length win margin.
Final time was 1:49.60 on a fast track. Kid Cruz closed from far back to get third a length behind Tommy Macho, as Mylute finished fourth after racing close to the pace throughout. Turco Bravo and Desvelo completed the order of finish. Perfect Title scratched.
Financial Modeling, a Street Sense colt trained by Chad Brown and stepping up to stakes competition for the first time after winning a one-mile turf allowance Nov. 28 at Aqueduct by 1 1/2 lengths, returned $9.50, $3.70, and $2.50 at odds of 7-2. The Queens County was his sixth start of his 4-year-old season following a return from a nearly year-long layoff. Tommy Macho paid $3 and $2.20, while Kid Cruz brought $2.30.
Bred in Kentucky by Haymarket Farm out of the A.P. Indy mare Ocean Flirt, Financial Modeling was a $130,000 purchase by Klaravich at the 2012 Keeneland September yearling sale when consigned by Select Sales. He improved his record to four wins and two thirds from eight starts for earnings of $205,950 while giving Brown's team their 200th victory of the year.
"This year, he came back off his layoff in good form," said Cherie DeVaux, Chad Brown's New York-based assistant. "Chad's plan with him today was to have Irad go to the lead and set nice, easy, comfortable fractions. Chad felt the horse was training well enough after winning on the turf to take a chance and try this, based on his previous dirt form."