10/19/2013 4:02PM

Belmont Park: Effie Trinket by a nose in Ticonderoga Stakes

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Barbara D. Livingston
Effie Trinket (right) beats Sally's Dream by a nose in the Ticonderoga Stakes on Saturday.

ELMONT, N.Y. – After finishing second and third in the last two runnings of the Ticonderoga Stakes with the consistent Gitchee Goomie, owner Patsy Symons and trainer Rick Violette broke through in that race in dramatic fashion Saturday at Belmont Park with Effie Trinket.

One of just two 3-year-old fillies in the 10-horse field, Effie Trinket split horses in midstretch under Luis Saez and battled back on the 5-year-old mare Sally’s Dream to win the $200,000 Ticonderoga by a nose. It was a half-length back to Wholelottashakin in third.

“How game is she?” Violette said. “She can do anything. She’s won on the lead; she’s won in the clear, stalking; she’s made one big run to get it; and here she stalked and had to wait, and everybody was packing her in.”

It was the sixth win from 10 career starts for Effie Trinket, a daughter of Freud who cost $130,000 at auction. She has won four of six starts this year, including four of five on turf.

In winning the John Hettinger Stakes last month, Effie Trinket had a stalking, in-the-clear trip under Saez. On Saturday, breaking from the rail, Effie Trinket had an inside trip, sitting fourth behind pacesetters Harbor Mist and Mystic City and inside of Lady’s Lunar Luck.

Meanwhile, Rajiv Maragh had Sally’s Dream in fifth position and in the clear. Turning for home, Sally’s Dream rallied five wide while Saez kept Effie Trinket inside, waiting for running room.

At the eighth pole, Saez guided Effie Trinket between Harbor Mist and Mystic City but got into a tussle with Sally’s Dream, a mare making her 36th career start and her 17th this year.

The two traded head bobs in the final sixteenth, with Effie Trinket coming out on the winning end. Effie Trinket covered the 1 1/16 miles over firm turf in 1:42.45 and returned $9.40 as the second choice.

“I knew I had horse, but I didn’t have any room,” Saez said. “I had to wait and wait, and when I saw Rajiv on my outside, I thought he was going to beat me. But when I changed my whip to the left hand, she responded.”

Effie Trinket has proven a nice replacement for Gitchee Goomie, who finished first or second in 16 of 22 starts, with five stakes wins and earnings of $680,520.

Referencing his run of success with Symons, Violette said, “It’s just amazing the luck we’ve had together, to be honest with you. It’s scary. We sold Gitchee Goomie last year as a broodmare, and to have Effie step in is pretty cool. She’s actually accomplished a lot more than Gitchee by the end of her 3-year-old career.”