Hymn Book Returns to Winning Ways
Photo: Coglianese Photos
Hymn Book splashes to victory in the Frank "Pancho" Martin Stakes.
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Donn Handicap (gr. I) winner Hymn Book returned to winning ways Oct. 19, taking the $80,750 Frank "Pancho" Martin Stakes by 5 3/4 lengths in the slop at Belmont Park (VIDEO).

Stuart Janney III's  6-year-old gelded son of Arch   went 1 1/16 miles over a sealed main track in 1:43.31 after easily overhauling the frontrunners from the back of a four-horse field that included Monmouth Cup (gr. II) winner Rule. Jockey Joel Rosario had him geared down from the sixteenth pole to the wire to prevail comfortably.

Small Town Talk, Rule, and Xin Xu Lin completed the order of finish. Isn't He Perfect and Ponzi Scheme scratched.

Hymn Book returned $3.50 and $2.30 with no show or trifecta wagering. Small Town Talk paid $3.80 to place.

The homebred dark bay, trained by Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey, has been ambitiously campaigned this year since winning the Donn Feb. 11 at Gulfstream Park. He came off an uncharacteristic eighth in the TVG Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational (gr. I) Sept. 29.

Before that he ran fourth in the Whitney Invitational (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course, second in the Suburban Handicap (gr. II) back at Belmont, fifth in the Pimlico Special (gr. III) at Pimlico Race Course, and fourth in the Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park.

His other runner-up finishes in graded stakes came last year in the Cigar Mile (gr. I) and Suburban. 

The latest win improved Hymn Book's overall record to 8-5-1 from 20 starts, with earnings of $792,687.

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