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Belmont Park: Peace Preserver caps big weekend for Pletcher with easy win in Pebbles
ELMONT, N.Y. - Peace Preserver rallied four wide in the stretch under John Velazquez and galloped to a 6 1/2-length victory in Monday’s $150,000 Pebbles Stakes at Belmont Park, capping a fabulous Columbus Day weekend for trainer Todd Pletcher.
Channel Lady, the 3-2 favorite, also trained by Pletcher, finished second by a neck over the ambitious pacesetter Assateague in the one-mile turf race for 3-year-old fillies.
It was the sixth stakes win of the weekend for Pletcher, who on Saturday won the Grade 1 Frizette and Grade 1 Champagne at Belmont as well as the Grade 3 Woodford at Keeneland. On Sunday, Pletcher won the Grade 1 Spinster at Keeneland.
Peace Preserver had been a runner-up in her two most recent stakes tries - the Desert Vixen at Monmouth and the Riskaverse at Saratoga.
Monday, Peace Preserver was 12 1/2 lengths off the pace as Assateague, under Joel Rosario, ran off to a 10-length lead after running a half-mile in 47.92 seconds.
“Considering how soft the track is you have to expect them to come back to you,” Velazquez said.
Velazquez rallied Peace Preserver three wide around the turn, and moved out another path in the stretch. After brushing with stablemate Channel Lady in upper stretch, Peace Preserver kept on charging to take command by the eighth pole.
Peace Preserver, a 3-year-old daughter of War Front owned by Alto Stable, covered the mile in 1:38.40 over yielding turf and returned $6.60 as the 2-1 second choice.
“We’ve tried to fine-tune her running style,” Pletcher said. “We maybe had her too close to the pace to begin with; she was a little keen. Then we took the blinkers off and felt like she was a little too settled and a little too far off the pace. We’ve been trying to find a happy medium there somewhere. It was nice to see her get settled and handle the soft ground well today and finish up very strongly.”
Todd's best turf horse. Only 3 and improving.
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