06/01/2013 2:44PM

Belmont Park: Saginaw takes Affirmed Success for his 20th win

Chelsea Durand/NYRA
Despite a troubled trip, Saginaw and Junior Alvarado defeat Fiddlers Afleet in the $100,000 Affirmed Success on Saturday.

ELMONT, N.Y. - The remarkable Saginaw overcame an eventful trip to record his 20th career victory, a half-length decision over Fiddlers Afleet in Saturday’s $100,000 Affirmed Success Handicap at Belmont.

Saginaw had to steady back under jockey Junior Alvarado after rushing up behind the leaders along the rail in the run down the backstretch. He remained blocked while pocketed near the inside on the turn before angling out for clearance at the top of the stretch. Once clear, Saginaw asserted his superiority over his four rivals, wearing down Fiddlers Afleet through the final sixtreenth of a mile.

Fiddlers Afleet stalked the early pace of Flying Zealous, gained a short advantage near the eighth pole, and resisted gamely once challenged. Mine Over Matter rallied inside rivals to loom a threat near midstretch but could not sustain the bid. The tiring Flying Zealous and Willy Beamin completed the order of finish.

Saginaw, a 7-year-old son of Peruvian, is owned by Drawing Away stable and trainer David Jacobson. The Affirmed Success was his fourth straight victory and 20th win overall in 39 career starts. Saginaw covered six and one-half furlongs in 1:15.39 and paid $3.40.

“It’s a very big accomplishment when you reach these kind of numbers with a horse, and it’s exciting to have Saginaw going into Saratoga off a magnificent performance like this,” said Jacobson. “They knew he was the horse to beat and they made it as hard as they could on him, but he found a way. Like most great athletes, he has that instinct to win.”