05/31/2013 6:13PM

Belmont Park: Saez has five wins on card


ELMONT, N.Y. - Jockey Luis Saez won five races on Friday’s card at Belmont Park, including two consecutive races in which he dead-heated for the victory.

It was the 11th time in his career the 21-year-old Saez has won at least five races on a single card, the first time he has done so outside of south Florida. Saez has twice won six races on a single card - Nov. 11, 2009 and Aug. 11, 2012 - at Calder.

On Friday, at Belmont, Saez was aboard Copper Forest ($4.30), who dead-heated for win with Anaphylaxis, in the second race. In the third, Saez again dead-heated when his mount, Smash ($5.20), hit the wire simultaneously with Leave of Absence.

Saez, a native of Panama City, Panama, had the spotlight all to himself in the fourth on Hardest Core ($13.80), the eighth on North Slope ($15.60) and the ninth aboard Here’s d’Bride ($7.70).

In his first meet riding at Belmont, Saez has ridden 23 winners from 130 mounts, good enough for fifth place in the standings.

“Today, the horses ran good for me,” said Saez, who will ride Freedom Child in next Saturday’s $1 million Belmont Stakes. “It’s a little hard here in New York, but, thank God, we’re doing great here. Trainers have given me opportunities, so I have to ride hard.”