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To Honor And Serve Impressive in Remsen

Promising 2-year-old To Honor and Serve took another step forward Saturday, posting a gate-to-wire victory in the Grade 2, $200,000 Remsen at Aqueduct Racetrack.

 

To Honor and Serve, who was entering today’s race off a four-length success in the Grade 2 Nashua at the Big A on November 6, broke sharply and was angled over to the rail by John Velazquez on the clubhouse turn. The odds-on favorite received mild pressure from eventual runner-up Mucho Macho Man through a half in 47.69 and three quarters in 1:11.18, began to inch clear entering the lane, and was geared down late as he scored by two comfortable lengths.

 

“I let him do whatever he wanted to do – I didn’t want to be on his mouth,” said Velazquez. “He’s still a big baby. He gets to the lead, and he gets to looking around. He hasn’t put it all together yet.”

 

To Honor and Serve returned $3.20 for a $2 win wager as the 3-5 favorite, earned $90,000 for his victory, and completed the 1 1/8-mile distance in 1:50.03.

 

The Remsen was the first start around two turns for To Honor and Serve, who broke his maiden by 8 ¾ lengths two starts back at Belmont Park on October 2.

 

“It would have been nice to see him to have to pass somebody, but that’s just the way the race turned out,” said Hall of Famer Bill Mott, who trains the son of Bernardini for Live Oak Plantation. “I thought in the Nashua it looked like he won a little easier, but this was another eighth of a mile. Being in a two-turn race might have been slightly confusing to him.”

 

To Honor and Serve, who has won three of four starts and earned $264,640, will receive a brief break before joining Mott’s string at Payson Park in Florida, according to the trainer. The colt’s next start will be determined at a later date.

 

Mountain Town finished third, with Bandbox and Buffum, who both steadied in the early stages, completing the order of finish.

 

The Grade 2, $200,000 Demoiselle for 2-year-old fillies went to Dixie City, who used similar front-running tactics to draw off to a decisive victory.

 

After dicating a half in 48.19, Dixie City turned back a challenge from favored Believe in A. P. nearing the quarter pole and was kept to task to find the wire 3 ¼ lengths to the good of that rival.

 

“[Trainer] Tony [Dutrow] told me, ‘Do whatever you have to do,’” said jockey Jose Lezcano. “She broke so sharply I wasn’t about to take hold of her. On the backside, I went inside, and she gave me a big run. When I saw [Ramon Dominguez and Believe in A.P.] I didn’t know how much horse he had, but I knew I had more.”

 

Dixie City, part of a coupled entry that went off as the 9-5 second choice, paid $5.60 for a $2 win wager and stopped the timer in 1:52.84 for 1 1/8 miles.

 

“I didn’t think the distance was much of an issue as she’s bred to go long,” said Dutrow. “She had running on her mind, and they let her set a nice, easy pace.”

 

An Edward P. Evans homebred, Dixie City has won three of her last four starts, taking two straight at Parx Racing on August 31 and October 2 and finishing third in the Grade 3 Tempted at Aqueduct on November 6. The $120,000 winner’s share of the Demoiselle purse boosted her earnings to $203,180.

 

Third-place finisher Tap for Luck was followed by Tempted winner Full Moon and Summer Laugh.

 

 

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