Ridden by Javier Castellano, Fishy Advice was held up at the back of the nine-horse field before mounting a bid on the far turn of the 1 1/8-mile Knickerbocker. Rallying on the outside, the 5-year-old Woodman horse continued to wear down his rivals through the lane to be fourth with a furlong to run. He hit the front in the closing 100 yards and pulled clear. Thorn Song, ridden by Kent Desormeaux, had gained a short lead mid-stretch after tracking a temperate pace but could not hold off the winner in a determined effort. Operation Red Dawn closed willingly for Alan Garcia to finish third, a neck behind the runner-up.
Giant Wrecker, who finished fourth, and National Captain vied for the lead into the stretch, but both faded. Favored Palace Episode finished seventh.
David Donk trains Fishy Advice, who won the Laurel Turf Cup on a yielding turf last November and finished second in last year's Knickerbocker after a front-running effort on a course rated good. He also won the Caesar Rodney Stakes at Delaware Park last year on a good turf. Fishy Advice, returning from a six-week layoff, was a closing fourth last time out in the Cliff Hanger (gr. III) at Meadowlands on Sept. 21.
"He went over very soft turf at Laurel last year, so I wasn’t concerned," Donk said. "He’s learned to settle a lot better this year. He ran a decent race last time, and he’s done well since. Coming off the turn, I knew he had a lot to do, but he has come from way back before and won.”
Fishy Advice earned his first graded stakes win for owners Charles K. Marquis, John T. Behrendt, William Bloom, and Brian Cornell. He improved his career record to 8-3-2 in 20 starts with earnings of $505,850. The Knickerbocker was worth $67,740 for the winning connections.
"I rode him last time at the Meadowlands," Castellano noted. "I don’t know if it was the lights, but he just didn’t have it. Today he was in the bridle. He really liked the course today. It’s pretty soft out there, but he handled it.”
Alberta Davies bred Fishy Advice in Kentucky. The chestnut is out of Lady Skywalker, by Skywalker.
The winner paid $11.20, $5.80, and $4.40. Thorn Song, making a promising stakes debut for trainer Dale Romans, returned $7.90 and $5, completing a $99 exacta. Operation Red Dawn, also making his first stakes start for trainer Christophe Clement, was $5.60 to show.
Fractions were 24.75, 48.92 and 1:13.31. The final time was 1:52.06.
Giant Wrecker was followed by Baron Von Tap, National Captain, Palace Episode, Rock Lobster and Interpatation.