06/01/2013 5:14PM

Belmont: Clear Pasaj uses uncontested lead to capture Dancin Renee Handicap

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Clear Pasaj, under Jose Ortiz, holds off Lady On the Run by a head in the Dancin Renee for New York-bred fillies and mares.

ELMONT, N.Y. - Though he believes Clear Pasaj can rate if need be, trainer Bruce Levine felt in order to win Saturday’s $100,000 Dancin Renee Handicap at Belmont Park it would be on the front end.

 “I was kind of hell bent on the lead today, to be honest,” Levine said.

 A key to the plan was having the other speed, Beautiful But Blue, take back. When Jose Lezcano took a hold of Beautiful But Blue shortly after the start, Clear Pasaj, under Jose Ortiz, had the lead all to herself and she held off a late charge from Lady On the Run to win the $100,000 Dancin Renee for New York-bred fillies and mares by a head.

 Lady On the Run was second by 1 3/4 lengths over Beautiful But Blue. Miss Valentine, the 2-1 favorite, was fourth, followed by Mischief Maker and Great Gracie Dane.

 It was the fifth win from 13 starts for Clear Pasaj, a daughter of Smoke Glacken owned and bred by Donald Schupak’s AnJes Farm. It was the first stakes win for Clear Pasaj after two straight seconds in such events.

 “I had a lot of confidence going seven-eighths and I thought the only other speed was [Beautiful But Blue], and I thought he’d let me go, which he ended up doing,” Levine said. “From the one hole I thought they’d let me have the lead. I don’t think they wanted to chew me up because I didn’t look like I was the horse to beat.”

 Clear Pasaj ($10.40) ran an opening quarter in 22.15 seconds, a half-mile in 45.90, six furlongs in 1:09.98, and covered seven furlongs in 1:22.60, a full second slower than Lovely Syn’s time of 1:21.58 winning the Bouwerie earlier on the card.