Friend Or Foe remains unbeaten in three starts after wearing
down the early pacesetter and asserting command late to take the 31st running
of the $100,000 Mike Lee by 2½ lengths on Father’s Day at Belmont Park.
Entering the Mike Lee off a March 6 maiden victory at Gulfstream Park
and a May 15 triumph over statebreds in an allowance at Belmont, Friend Or Foe shadowed a
free-running General Maximus through fractions of 22.80 and 45.17. After
drawing to the throatlatch of General Maximus as the field turned for home,
Friend Or Foe gradually edged clear after the pacesetter capitulated at the
“Down the backside, the horse was moving very comfortably,”
said winning jockey Rajiv Maragh. “It was going to be a good horse race down
the stretch, and my horse just prevailed. We think he’s a good horse. After
running so strong in a seven-furlong race, he galloped out an extra
three-eighths of a mile, which to me is a good indication he will go further.”
Friend Or Foe, who returned $7.40 for a $2 win bet as the
5-2 third choice in the field of five, completed the distance in 1:21.68.
Ibboyee, 11-10 favorite, trailed early after breaking a step
slowly and made a mild rally to finish 4 ¼ lengths behind the winner in third,
with Make Note and Raynick’s Jet completing the order of finish. Fenway
Faithful was scratched from the Mike Lee, the first leg of the Big Apple Triple
for New York-bred 3-year-olds.
John Kimmel said Friend Or Foe will likely bypass the
series’ second leg, the $150,000 New York Derby at Finger
Lakes on July 17, in favor of “bigger and better things.”
“[Friend Or Foe] has a lot of tactical speed if you need it,
but he’s also relaxed enough that you can settle him,” said Kimmel.
Owned by his breeders, Mary and Chester Broman, Sr., the son
of Friends Lake earned $60,000 to boost his
bankroll to $103,800.