Heavily favored To Honor and Serve cruised to a
front-running, four-length victory over Mucho Macho Man in the 35th
running of the Grade 2, $150,000 Nashua,
one of a trio of graded stakes Saturday afternoon at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Ridden by Jose Lezcano, the
2-year-old bay son of Bernardini quickly took command and ran easily through
uncontested early fractions of 24.01, 48.27 and 1:12.10. Shaking off bids from
the runner-up and Quality Council at the top of the stretch, To Honor and Serve
spurted clear of his rivals approaching the eighth pole and then loped home in
1:35.86 for the mile.
“He just galloped into the lead, and when I asked him, he
just, like, galloped,” said Lezcano. “I don’t know how to explain it. He won so
It was the second straight victory for To Honor and Serve,
an 8 ¾-length winner of an off-the-turf maiden race at Belmont Park
on October 2. A $575,000 yearling purchase at the Keeneland yearling sales in
2009, To Honor and Serve earned $90,000 for his owner, Live Oak Plantation.
Second in his first start at Saratoga Race Course, the colt has now won
Sent off at 1-4, To Honor and Serve returned $2.70 for a $2
“He’s still a baby, so we’ll take it step-by-step,” said
Rodolphe Brisset, assistant to winning Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott. “He’s a
quick learner, that’s for sure.”
Quality Council was 5 ¾ lengths back in third, with Settle
for Medal and Economic Summit completing the order of finish.
Grassy scored his first graded stakes win in the 51st running
of the Grade 2, $150,000 Red Smith, charging widest of all down the stretch to
edge Rescue Squad by a length in the 1 3/8 mile turf race.
Ridden by Joe Bravo, the 4-year-old son of El Prado tucked
in along the rail well behind Strike a Deal, who led through a half-mile in
51.52 and a mile in 1:43.37 over the soft course. Rounding the turn, Bravo
tipped Grassy to the outside and the gray colt responded with a rousing late
run that carried him under the wire in 2:20.06.
“The minute the gates opened, he gave me this sensation like
‘Yo jock, don’t worry about it. I got this,’” said Bravo. “He gave me the
sensation that at any time he could’ve gone and run ‘em over.”
The victory was the second in six start this year for
Grassy, who in his previous race finished third, beaten 1 ½ lengths, by
Winchester in the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational over a yielding
course at Belmont Park.
“Off his race in the Turf Classic, we thought this was a
good spot for him,” said Ben Colebrook, assistant to winning trainer Christophe
Clement. “He put in a big effort that day. Today, he was even more impressive.”
Owned by Adele Dilschneider and Claiborne Farm, Grassy
returned $4.70 for a $2 win bet as the 6-5 favorite, and earned $90,000.
Bold Hawk was third, a neck behind Rescue Squad, with
Whatsthescript, Simmard, Strike a Deal and Jeune-Turc completing the order of
In the 35th running of the Grade 3, $100,000
Tempted for 2-year-old fillies, Full Moon Blues was never challenged as she led
almost every step under jockey Malcolm Franklin on the way to a 2 ¼-length win
over Tap for Luck.
Her time for the mile was 1:38.56.
“She didn’t break all that well, but no one else seemed
anxious for the lead, and Malcolm was able to cruise on up there and dictate
the pace,” said Tim Tullock, Jr., who trains Full Moon Blues for Jeffrey
Sent off as the 11-1 longshot in the field of five, Full
Moon Blues returned $25 for a $2 win bet as she ran her record to 2-2-0 from
Favored Dixie City
was third, followed by Pinch Pie and Doing Great.