09/13/2014 5:04PM

Annecdote turns it on late to win Noble Damsel


ELMONT, N.Y. – Proving the old adage it’s not how you start but how you finish, Annecdote overcame a sluggish break from the gate by displaying a strong late kick to win Saturday’s Grade 3, $200,000 Noble Damsel Stakes by 2 3/4 lengths at rainy Belmont Park.

Byrama, part of the early pace along with Love Train, held second by a neck over Julies Love. Baffle Me, Tokyo Time, the tepid 3-1 favorite, Devilish Love, Love Train, Medea, and Alaura Michelle completed the order of finish.

The win was the sixth in 14 career starts for Annecdote but her first since coming to this country less than two months ago. The win gave trainer Christophe Clement his fifth victory in the Noble Damsel.

Annecdote, under Irad Ortiz Jr., walked out of the starting gate and remained last through a half-mile in 47.46 seconds. The pace was established by Byrama and prompted by Love Train, who, like Annecdote, is trained by Clement.

Turning for home, Ortiz swung Annecdote five wide and into the clear, and she closed with a rush to win going away. Annecdote, a Great Britain-bred daughter of Lucky Story, covered the mile in 1:35.09 over turf labeled firm but a course that Ortiz said was soft. Annecdote returned $10.20 to win.

“She broke a little slow. I don’t want to rush her out of there. I want to give her every chance,” Ortiz said. “The track is very soft right now. I dropped my hands, tried to cover up like the boss told me. When I asked her, I had a lot of horse.”

Clement said he was not surprised by the turn of foot Annecdote displayed based on how she had been training.

“She had a very good work last weekend. She showed a great turn of foot,” he said. “This is a race where the stable’s been lucky. She was found by two agents in Europe. She can run. She can really run.”