Paul Pompa, Jr.’s Understatement broke running from post
position No. 1, set uncontested fractions down the backside, and never looked
back in the stretch to take the 91st running of the $65,000 Evening
Attire by 4½ lengths Saturday afternoon at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Sent out by leading trainer Todd Pletcher, Understatement
remained undefeated in three starts over the Big A’s inner track, all of which
have come while racing on, or just off, the early pace.
“That was really the plan from the get-go,” said winning
jockey, David Cohen, who currently ranks second in the jockey standings behind
Ramon Dominguez. “Just go to the lead and let the other entrymate [Well
Positioned] trail. I think this horse seems to obviously show that the
way he wants to run is get on the lead and open up a little bit.”
In command every step of the way, Understatement set early
fractions of 23.53 and 47.19 seconds with Bunker
Hill and Storm Play giving chase in second and
third. Understatement ran six furlongs in 1:11.44 and had a two-length
lead on the far turn as the rest of the front runners began to drop back.
“I thought that when he was still on the bridle and everyone
else started falling off the bridle we were going to have a pretty good chance,”
said Pletcher’s assistant trainer, Jonathan Thomas. “I think it just
gives him a big heart to be out like that.”
Well Positioned rallied from fourth in the five-horse field
to be second. It was another 13½ lengths to Storm Play, who, like
Understatement, reigns from the Pletcher barn.
Understatement’s final time for the 1 1/16 miles was
With the win, the 5-year-old son of Distorted Humor
increased his career record to 4-2-2 from 14 starts and bumped his career
earnings to just over $160,000.
Sent off at .30-1 as part of the favored entry,
Understatement paid $2.60 for a $2 win bet.
No decision has been made on his next race.
“He’ll stay here,” Thomas said. “We’ll talk to Todd to
see what he wants to do next.”