09/23/2007 11:00PM

Big Truck, Expect the End prevail

EmailELMONT, N.Y. - Favorites Big Truck and Expect the End won their respective divisions of Sunday's stakes at Belmont Park for New York-breds, but both had to work extremely hard for their victories.

In the $106,300 Bertram F. Bongard for 2-year-old males, Big Truck, trained by Barclay Tagg, rallied past a stubborn Spanky Fischbein inside the sixteenth pole to record a two-length victory as the 1-5 favorite. It was four lengths back to Dazzlng Derek in third.

Big Truck, a son of Hook and Ladder, was sent off such a heavy favorite based on a good-looking debut win at Saratoga and a declaration by Tagg that he might be the trainer's best 2-year-old. Big Truck, under Ramon Dominguez, pressed a newly-blinkered Spanky Fischbein from the outside, was outrun briefly by that horse in upper stretch, before rallying for the victory. Big Truck ($2.40), owned by Eric Fein, covered the seven furlongs in 1:23.64.

"I thought it would be a little bit easier than that,'' said Tagg, who won this race in 2002 with Funny Cide. "He got into gear a little sooner than I thought he would. I thought they would run away from him earlier. At least, he pulled this one off.''

In the $108,500 Joseph A. Gimma Stakes for juvenile fillies, Expect the End and Meriwether Jessica hooked up soon after the start and were head and head for the final 5 1/2 furlongs of the race with Expect the End, under Rafael Bejarano, outlasting Meriwether Jessica, under Cornelio Velasquez, by a nose. It was 3 1/2 lengths back to Beam of Love in third.

Expect the End ($4.30), a daughter of Precise End, covered the seven furlongs in 1:24.31.

The victory was the second straight New York-bred stakes score for Expect the End, who was claimed by trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. for $30,000 last May at Churchill Downs. The International Equine Acquisitions Holdings Inc. Stable purchased a half-interest in the filly a few days before the race from Sanford Goldfarb, Michael Dubb, and Cast of Characters Stable.

Big Truck and Expect the End are likely to race again on Oct. 20 when Belmont hosts New York Showcase Day. Big Truck would be pointed to the Sleepy Hollow while Expect the End will likely run in the Maid of the Mist. Both $100,000 races are at one mile.

* Barancella ($4.10) unleashed a furious stretch kick to win the $76,500 Fairway Flyer Stakes by one length over the pacesetting Jade Queen. Barancella covered the 1 3/8 miles in 2:14.27 and ran her final three furlongs in slightly more than 34 seconds in her first race since April 25.

Trainer Bobby Frankel said Barancella would most likely be pointed to the E. P. Taylor Stakes at Woodbine, a race she was beaten one-half length in 2005 and a length in 2006.