05/22/2013 3:08PM

Belmont Park: Declan's Warrior wins quickly run Gygistar, Stephens or Dwyer next

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Declan's Warrior (left) runs down Tenango to win the Gygistar Stakes at Belmont Park.

ELMONT, N.Y. – The good news is Declan’s Warrior ($3) won Wednesday’s $85,000 Gygistar Stakes at Belmont Park. The bad news is he had to run harder – and faster – than his connections had hoped, especially with the plan being to run back in 17 days.

Declan’s Warrior, under Jose Lezcano, rallied from fourth in a five-horse field and ran down Tenango in the final strides to win the Gygistar by a neck. His final time of 1:20.85 for seven furlongs was just .68 seconds off the track record of 1:20.17 set by Left Bank in the 2002 Tom Fool Handicap.

“That was an amazing race,” trainer Nick Zito said. “He’s a special horse.”

The Gygistar was originally scheduled for May 15, but did not have enough entries to be carded. Now, it is only 17 days to the Grade 2, $400,000 Woody Stephens on June 8 and Zito has to decide whether to run back in that seven-furlong race or perhaps wait for the Dwyer, a 1 1/16-mile race on July 6.

“I wish it would have gone earlier,” Zito said. “We’ll see what happens and we’ll figure it out. It may be time to stretch him out and think about the Dwyer.”

The win was the fourth from five starts for Declan’s Warrior, a son of Majestic Warrior owned by Zito’s wife Kim. Declan’s Warrior most recently won the Grade 3 Bay Shore at Aqueduct on April 6.

Tenango, who was once being considered for the Belmont Stakes by owner Larry Roman, finished second by a length over the slow-starting Battier.