Luas Line Finds Garden Spot at Belmont

Luas Line Finds Garden Spot at Belmont
Photo: NYRA/Adam Coglianese
Luas Line wins Garden City 'Cap.
Irish invader Luas Line found Saturday's modest offering of three opponents in the $260,000 Garden City Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IT) much more to her liking than her previous American visit. She buried odds-on choice My Typhoon in the stretch for an easy victory on the Belmont Park lawn.

Luas Line finished fourth as a 12-1 outsider in the American Oaks (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park when she trailed Japanese sensation Cesario by 6 1/2 lengths July 3. She returned to Ireland for victories over older males in a pair of listed stakes.

Ridden for the first time by John Velazquez, Luas Line wrestled the lead from the pacestting 4-5 favorite My Typhoon in mid-stretch and ground out a 1 1/2-length victory in a sizzling 1:45 3/5 for the 1 1/8-mile distance on firm turf. The time was two-fifths off the track record.

The four-horse field ran through a gaggle of geese in the stretch.
    
"We must have run over two or three geese," Velazquez said. "One of their feathers was in my foot. It was a delayed reaction. After she went through them, then she got scared."

David Wachman trains Luas Line, a daughter of Danehill-Streetcar (In the Wings) for Mrs. Evelyn M. Stockwell.

"She definitely has improved," said Wachman. "I got a little fright today. I didn't know it was the geese that she hit. She pricked her ears and lost her action a little bit."

Wachman said he is considering the 1 1/8-mile Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (gr. IT) at Keeneland Oct. 15 next for Luas Line.

"It's great to come here and win a race. She likes the fast ground and she travels well. We'll see about the Breeders' Cup ($1 million Emirates Airlines Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf). I'll have to talk to the owners and see what they want to do."

French shipper Asi Siempre, making her U.S. debut under Gary Stevens, rallied for second by 3 1/4 lengths over My Typhoon and Jerry Bailey. Insan Mala trailed the field reduced to four by the scratches of Dynamite Lass and Finlandia.

Bailey tried to take advantage of the small field and a lack of early lick, setting slow fractions with My Typhoon of :24 1/5, :47 2/5 and 1:10 1/5. But Luas Line, stalking a length to 1 1/2 lengths behind the frontrunner, edged up to even terms on the outside and slowly pulled away.

Luas Line, who was beaten by only a half-length by Saoire in the Irish One Thousand Guineas (Ire-I), picked up her first group or graded stakes win in fine fashion. The victory, her fourth in 10 career starts, pushed her earnings to $422,298.

She paid $5.90 and $3.60. Asi Siempre, a listed stakes winner in her last start at Vichy, returned $4.70.

"I gave her a lot to do in a four-horse field," said Stevens of the runner-up. "I had a little too much confidence in her. I think I underestimated the winner a little bit. She's a very good filly."

There was no show wagering.

(Chart, Equibase)

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