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Understatement Sharp in Stymie

Understatement ran his inner track record to 4-for-4 Sunday afternoon at Aqueduct Racetrack, coming from off the pace to post a 3¾ -length victory over National Pride in the 55th running of the $65,000 Stymie.


Under a perfect ride from jockey David Cohen, who scored his third winner of the day in the race, Understatement relaxed in second behind early fractions of 23.78, 48.50 and 1:12.71 set by National Pride, then accelerated to take the lead midway around the far turn and cruised home under a hand ride.


“It worked out very nice,” said Cohen, who had won the Evening Attire aboard Understatement over the inner track on January 16. “On paper, the number one horse [National Pride] seemed to be the speed and I just let him take the lead.  My horse is very professional and he made my job very easy today.”


Understatement’s time for the 1 1/8th miles was 1:50.63 on the fast inner track, where he also posted a pair of victories last year in optional claimers.

“We know he likes the inner track; today, he showed complete professionalism,” said Jonathan Thomas, assistant to winning trainer Todd Pletcher. “He laid off the pace and was very, very relaxed, just waiting on a cue from David. He handled the mile-and-an-eighth beautifully.”


Sent off as the 6-5 favorite in the field of eight, Understatement returned $4.70 for a $2 win bet as he earned $39,000 for owner Paul Pompa, Jr. Overall, the 5-year-old son of Distorted Humor is 5-2-2 from 15 starts with a bankroll of $199,155.


National Pride held on for second, a half-length in front of the Pletcher-trained Nite Light. Completing the order of finish were Seniors Pride, More Than a Reason, Atoned, Giant Chieftan, and Reflect Times.





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