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San Pablo Holds off Gallant Fields at Big A

San Pablo held off a resurgent Gallant Fields to win Aqueduct Racetrack’s $75,000 Queens County on Saturday by a half-length as the heavy favorite.


Off at 2-5, San Pablo pressed Gallant Fields in second, racing a half-length behind the leader as the pacesetter traveled the opening half-mile in 48.99 seconds. San Pablo wrested a narrow lead from Gallant Fields through three quarters in 1:13.83 as Isn’t He Perfect ranged up three wide in third, forged a clear advantage past the furlong marker, and dug in after Gallant Fields angled outside to offer a late challenge.


“He broke and put me right there – I just sat outside Dutrow’s horse [Gallant Fields],” said winning jockey Chris DeCarlo. “When I heard the other horses coming on the outside, he kind of just picked it up on his own and I went with him. He’s very classy and you can’t get to the bottom of him. He only wins by a little bit; he doesn’t exert himself too hard.”


Trained by Todd Pletcher for Bona Venture Stables, San Pablo paid $2.90 for a $2 win wager and completed 1 1/8 miles over the muddy main track in 1:51.84.


“We’ve seen him make the lead, and then he kind of waits a little bit,” said Pletcher. “Anytime you’re the big favorite like that, you’re happy that you get the job done, especially running over a wet track, which he had never won on before. That was my biggest concern, but it seemed like he handled it well.”


The Queens County marked the sixth stakes victory and third at Aqueduct for San Pablo, who last winter won the Big A’s Flying Chevron and As Indicated overnight stakes. He entered the Queens County off a 4 ½-length score in the Swatara on November 21 at Penn National. The 4-year-old also has wins in Saratoga Race Course’s Birdstone and Monmouth Park’s Grade 3 Philip H. Iselin to his credit.


“He’s one of those horses who is just steadily improving, a horse we’ve always liked,” said Pletcher. “He seems like he is kind of putting it together. If he can take another step forward, then he could fit with the top echelon.”


San Pablo, a son of Jump Start, is 9-3-1 in 15 starts. The $45,000 winner’s share of the Queen’s County purse lifted his earnings $490,400.


Isn’t He Perfect finished third, followed home by Indy Scent and Arch Traveler. Tonto Fontenot was scratched.




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