Better Lucky made
her turf debut a winning one, taking the lead in deep stretch and holding off
the furious late drive of Regalo Mia Monday afternoon at Belmont Park to take
the Grade 2, $200,000 Sands Point by a nose.
The 3-year-old Ghostzapper filly,
whose victory over a muddy track in her previous start prompted trainer Tom
Albertrani to try her on the turf, saved ground within striking range of
pacesetter Preach Tome Daddy as she led through an opening quarter-mile in 25.60
seconds and a half in 49.74. Tipped the outside by jockey Eddie Castro as the
field turned for home, Better Lucky moved up to duel for the lead with Zultanite
through the stretch, edging clear in the final yards and hitting the wire a
heartbeat ahead of the fast-closing Regalo Mia.
Her time for 1 1/16 miles over
firm turf was 1:42.75.
“Coming into the stretch I moved
to the outside and she gave me all that she had,” said Castro. “She tried really
hard and held for the photo finish.”
Owned and bred by Darley Stable,
Better Lucky returned $18.20 for a $2 win bet and earned $120,000 for her first
graded stakes victory. She is now 3-0-1 from five starts.
“From past experience, I’ve seen
horses run well in the mud [and then run well on the grass],” said Albertrani.
“It’s kind of a different angle, you’re not always certain it will work, but
sometimes it does. It certainly did today. We’re very excited that she was able
to win this race and we’ll just pick a spot down the road for her.”
Zultanite held for third and was
followed under the wire by favored Somali Lemonade, Preach Tome Daddy, Modulate,
Firehouse Red, and Dreaming of Cara.
Photo: NYRA, Adam Coglianese