05/30/2016 4:34PM

Bar of Gold, Alvarado ride inside to victory in Critical Eye Stakes

Chelsea Durand/NYRA
Bar of Gold, ridden by Junior Alvarado, holds off Haveyougoneaway to win the Critical Eye Stakes on Monday.

ELMONT, N.Y. - Bar of Gold remained unbeaten against New York-bred competition and unbeaten on wet tracks with a 1 1/2-length victory in Monday’s $200,000 Critical Eye Stakes at Belmont Park.

Bar of Gold and Junior Alvarado tracked a hot pace from the inside in the one-mile race for fillies and mares. Alvarado had planned to get Bar of Gold off the rail when it was time to make his move. But when a gaping hole presented itself at the five-sixteenths pole, Alvarado guided Bar of Gold right on through and she outlasted Haveyougoneaway through the stretch to get the victory.

Haveyougoneaway finished second by 1 1/2 lengths over Literata. She was followed, in order, by Quezon, Jules N Rome, Perfect Freud, Carameaway, Storied Lady, and Sheriffa.

Bar of Gold, now 4 for 4 against New York-bred competition, covered the mile in 1:36.83 and returned $5 as the favorite.

It was the first stakes win for Bar of Gold, a daughter of Medaglia d’Oro owned and bred by Chester and Mary Broman. After winning a maiden and two allowance races against statebreds to begin her career, Bar of Gold competed in seven consecutive graded stakes. She finished second to Cavorting in last August’s Grade 1 Test at Saratoga.

“This was a little bit of class relief here today,” trainer John Kimmel said. “If we’re going to go back into graded [company], seven-eighths might be her ideal distance.”

Bar of Gold sat third as Perfect Freud, kept well of the rail by John Velazquez, ran a quarter in 22.23 seconds and a half-mile in 44.83 while being chased by Jules N Rome. Alvarado was kept inside by Jose Ortiz on Haveyougoneaway, and instead of trying to move to the outside he just made an early inside move.

“I saw Johnny was still four or five wide," Alvarado said. "I could not wait any longer to tip out. I said ‘This is a great spot right there,’ and it worked out good.”

“I made a little early move - a split-second decision - and I guess it worked out.”

Kimmel said he isn’t sure if he would keep Bar of Gold on dirt or give her a try on the turf. Bar of Gold is out of the dam Khancord Kid, who went 3 for 8 on turf, including a victory in the Grade 3 Herecomesthebridestakes.