05/04/2013 4:21PM

Belmont Park: Lubash scores first graded stakes win in Fort Marcy

Joe Labozzetta/NYRA
Lubash wins the Grade 3 Fort Marcy Stakes by a half-length over Bombaguia.

Lubash was the most accomplished 1 1/16-mile turf runner going in, and he burnished his resume by winning Saturday’s Grade 3, $150,000 Fort Marcy in stakes-record time for trainer Christophe Clement, whose other horse in the race, Speaking of Which, ran last as the 7-5 favorite.

Lubash ($11.80) raced three wide throughout under Junior Alvarado as King Kreesa was hustled out to set fractions of 23.23 seconds, 45.71 and 1:08.54 over a Widener turf course that has been playing very fast through a dry and sunny spring.

Lubash crept closer on the outside into the stretch, caught King Kreesa with a furlong remaining, and held sway over Bombaguia to prevail by a half-length after 1 1/16 miles in 1:38.89. The time was a stakes record at the distance, and .36 of a second off Fortitude’s 1997 course record.

“The first thing I tried to do was find a horse to follow,” Alvarado said. “I knew they were going pretty fast and I was able to get a good position. When I asked him, he came on pretty strong at the end.”

Lubash, a 6-year-old New York-bred son of Freud, earned $90,000 in notching his first graded stakes victory and improved to 8-4-2 from 26 starts.

“I thought he was a bit unlucky at Aqueduct the other day,” Clement said. He “came out of it, trained well. The next New York-bred stake is in a month’s time and [owner] Mr. [Leonard] Pivnick wanted to try him. He was absolutely right.”

Speaking of Which, according to Clement, was “very disappointing, completely outpaced, obviously I ran him too short. I still think he’s a very nice horse.”

Bombaguia finished strongly for second, a length clear of King Kreesa in third. Real Solution, Abilio, and Speaking of Which completed the order of finish.