12/08/2012 5:07PM

Aqueduct: San Pablo expends only the energy needed in Queens County score

Adam Coglianese
San Pablo improved his record to 9 wins in 15 starts with his Queens County win.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - As he is wont to do, San Pablo, the 2-5 favorite, put out only as much effort as needed to win Saturday’s $75,000 Queens County Stakes at gloomy Aqueduct.

After dueling with Gallant Fields for about a mile, San Pablo appeared to be pulling away from that rival - and Isn’t He Perfect - in mid-stretch.

But San Pablo got to idling and had to withstand a late surge by Gallant Fields - running back on two days’ rest - to win the Queens County by a half-length. It was 2 3/4 lengths back to Isn’t He Perfect in third. Indy Scent was fourth followed by Arch Traveler. Tonto Fontenot scratched.

Chris DeCarlo, the jockey of San Pablo, probably summed it up best when he said, “He only wins by a little bit; he doesn’t exert himself too hard.”

San Pablo, a 4-year-old son of Jump Start owned by Burning Sands Stable, won for the ninth time in 15 starts. It was his sixth stakes victory and he increased his purse earnings to $490,400.

Trainer Todd Pletcher said his biggest concern was the muddy track, the type of surface over which he had yet to win.

“He’s a horse that we’ve seen him make the lead and he kind of waits a little bit,” Pletcher said. “Anytime you’re the big favorite like that you’re happy if you get the job done especially running over a wet track which he never won on before; that was my biggest concern, but it seemed like he handled it well.”

San Pablo ran 1 1/8 miles over a muddy surface in 1:51.84 and returned $2.90 to win.

Gallant Fields, who rallied from off the pace to be third in a six-furlong allowance race here on Thursday, ran terrific to be second Saturday. Under Junior Alvarado he dueled inside of San Pablo to the eighth pole, backed out of it when things got tight along the rail, then came on again.

“The jock said he was in a little tight, I’m sure they’re not going to let us run it again and put us on the outside so we got to take what came,” trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. said. “I’m very happy with our horse, he showed up.”

Gallant Fields is on the also-eligible list for an allowance race on Wednesday’s program, but Dutrow said the horse would not run even if he drew into the field.