11/06/2016 5:23PM

Blinkers help Evidently earn narrow victory in Long Island Handicap

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Chelsea Durand/NYRA
Evidently, ridden by Antonio Gallardo, goes on to win the Long Island Handicap by a nose.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Roy Lerman, the owner, trainer, and breeder of the 5-year-old mare Evidently, wasn't sure if the addition of blinkers helped her win the Grade 3 Long Island Handicap at Aqueduct on Sunday, but he nevertheless was pleased with the result.

"She was more aggressive and into the bit," Lerman said after Evidently closed up the rail to win the $200,000 Long Island by a nose. "I guess it worked, empirically anyway."

The Long Island was the first time Evidently crossed the wire first since July 2015 at Belmont Park. She was disqualified and placed fifth in that second-level optional-claiming race after bumping several times with a rival while between horses in the stretch.

"She was bumped pretty hard in that race and I thought ever since she seemed to hesitate a step before making her move," Lerman said. "I thought the blinkers might help."

Earring set an extremely slow pace in the 1 1/2-mile Long Island over firm turf while being tracked by Modernstone. Following fractions of 25.49 seconds, 52.75, 1:19.68, 1:46.62, and 2:13.12, Earring dug in for the stretch run but just failed to last after a final quarter-mile in a quick 21.38 seconds.

Evidently, ridden by Antonio Gallardo, saved ground near the back of the nine-horse field and then stayed to the rail for the stretch run. She just got up inside Earring.

It was a half-length back to Desiree Clary in third, and another head back to fourth-place finisher Swear By It. Itsonlyactingdad, the 6-5 favorite, stalked the early leaders, moved up three wide on the final turn but lacked the needed closing kick and dead-heated for fifth with Promotional. They were beaten three-quarters of a length.

Evidently paid $29.20 to win and was timed in 2:34.50. Gallardo has won eight races over the first three days of the Aqueduct meet to lead the rider standings.

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Lerman used to operate Lambholm Farm in Middleburg, Va. He purchased the Brookside Farm of Allen Paulson in Ocala, Fla., in 2000 and renamed it Lambholm South. Five years later, he bought the 1,800-acre Hobeau Farm of Jack Dreyfus and increased Lambholm South's holdings.

Lerman currently has 12 horses in training and spends half the year in Saratoga and the other half in Florida.

Lerman bought Evidently's dam, Supposedly, at the Fasig-Tipton Timonium yearling sale in 2000. Under his training, she won the Pearl Necklace Stakes and earned $150,000.

The Long Island was Evidently's third win from 21 starts. She has now earned $259,000.

A horse to watch moving forward from the Long island is Palinodie. A 3-year-old bred in France, she only joined the barn of Christophe Clement about 10 days ago, according to assistant trainer Christophe Lorieul.

Palinodie, who was making her first start against older rivals, was reluctant to load into the gate, raced in last position behind an extremely slow pace, and then finished well to be seventh, beaten only 1 1/2 lengths.