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Violon Sacre Finshes Fast in Knickerbocker

Violon Sacre unleashed a powerful late run through the stretch to take Sunday’s 51st running of the Grade 3, $100,000 Knickerbocker at Belmont Park by a length over pacesetter Whatsthescript.

 

Ridden by Pablo Fragoso, Violon Sacre dropped back soon after the start and raced in sixth as Whatsthescript led the field of seven through an opening half-mile in 51.94 over the yielding turf course. Maneuvered to the outside on the far turn, the 5-year-old son of Stravinsky began picking off his rivals and kicked into high gear once in the lane, speeding through the final furlong in 11.39 to complete the 1 1/8 miles in 1:52.62.

 

“He has a huge turn of foot,” said Patrick Biancone, who trains Violon Sacre for Bernard Weill. “He seems to be improving with every race. In Europe, he was just below the good horses. Some horses come to the United States and do not acclimate well; he has.”

 

The victory was Violon Sacre’s third in five starts and first in a graded stakes since coming to the United States from France earlier this year.

 

“Mr. Biancone told me, ‘You know this horse better than me … just break and sit, and when you turn for home turn him loose’,” said Fragoso, who has been aboard for all three of Violon Sacre’s stateside wins including the Battlefield Stakes at Monmouth Park in July and the PTHA President’s Cup at Parx Racing in his most recent start.

 

Sent off as the 4-5 favorite by the crowd of 3,914, Violon Sacre returned $3.70 for a $2 win bet, and earned $60,000 to increase his bankroll to $489,392. Overall, he is 10-3-0 from 17 lifetime starts.

 

Whatsthescript, who returned to racing in July after spending the first part of the year at stud, held on gamely to finish 1 ½ lengths in front of Baletti.

 

“The plan today was if nobody else went to the lead, then we were going, and it turned out to be the best thing to do,” said Marcelo Arenas, assistant to trainer Gary Contessa, of Whatsthescript. “He ran really well, and he’s a very nice horse.”

 

Completing the order of finish were War Hoot, Wesley, Operation Red Dawn, and Interpatation. Presious Passion, Leading On, Midnight Mischief were scratched, as were Main Track Only entrants Barrier Reef, Discreet Treasure and Marilyn’s Guy.

 

 

 

 

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