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Friend Or Foe Takes Mike Lee

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 furlong marker.

 

“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.

 

 

 

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