05/29/2010 12:00AM

All goes according to plan for Hour Glass


ELMONT, N.Y. - Coming to the quarter pole of Saturday's Grade 2 at Belmont Park, the race looked exactly like trainer Todd Pletcher thought it could when he examined the past performances.

There were four speed horses across the track and his filly, Hour Glass, was sitting right behind them. In the stretch, jockey David Cohen was able to slide Hour Glass through an opening along the rail and she persevered to the wire to defeat a stubborn Rightly So by one-half length in the $140,000 Vagrancy. Rightly So, who set hot early fractions, held second by a neck over Tar Heel Mom.

Saarlight, Malibu Prayer, the 8-5 favorite, and Hold That Prospect completed the order of finish. Lady Alexander was scratched.

The victory was the first in a graded stakes for Hour Glass, who finished second to Tar Heel Mom in the Grade 2 Distaff last month at Aqueduct and fourth, beaten just one-half length in the Grade 2 Barbara Fritchie Handicap in February at Laurel.

On Saturday, Hour Glass raced in fifth position while Rightly So set fractions of 21.85 seconds and 44.50 for the opening half-mile, chased by Hold That Prospect, with Malibu Prayer - making her first start in 203 days - and Saarlight in the second flight. Tar Heel Mom, who bobbled at the break, trailed Hour Glass.

Approaching the quarter pole, Rightly So, Hold That Prospect, Malibu Prayer, and Tar Heel Mom were four abreast. Cohen bided his time, knowing if an opening developed along the rail Hour Glass would go through it.

"I know she's pretty game, she's not going to back out of it," Cohen said. "I definitely had the confidence in her that she would go ahead and go through there."

Still, Rightly So, under Cornelio Velasquez, would not give up without a fight and it took until a few strides from the wire for Hour Glass to get past her. Hour Glass, a daughter of Petionville owned by the Brady family's Mill House, covered the 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:16.68 and returned $9.30.

"We got exactly the trip we were hoping we would get on paper," Pletcher said. "It doesn't always work out that way. It unfolded like it looked like it could; she was able to sit the right trip and deliver the kick when she needed it."

The Vagrancy kicked off a good 10 minutes for Pletcher, who got himself in front of a television set in the Belmont clubhouse to watch Ailalea win the Grade3 3, $100,000 Dogwood Stakes at Churchill Downs.

Alan Garcia, the rider of Tar Heel Mom, said not only did his filly bobble at the break, but she didn't want to take the turn into the stretch.

"She ran a very good race after stumbling and going so wide," he said.

* Nobody picked six on Saturday, so there will be a pick-six carryover of 45,506 entering Sunday's card. All races in the pick six are scheduled for the turf, including the Mt. Vernon for New York-bred fillies and the Kingston for New York-bred males.