09/18/2010 6:26PM

Check the Label works her way out of trouble

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Despite a troubled trip, Check the Label registers her fourth straight stakes victory in the Garden City Breeders' Cup.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Ramon Dominguez keeps getting Check the Label into trouble, but the filly always seems to find a way of getting him out of it.

After being forced to check and steady at the five-sixteenths pole, Dominguez was able to swing Check the Label four wide into the stretch and the 3-year-old filly responded with the same strong closing kick she had displayed in her three prior stakes wins to take Saturday’s Grade 1, $250,000 Garden City Breeders’ Cup by three-quarters of a length at Belmont Park.

Snow Top Mountain rallied to be second, one length ahead of Gitchee Goomie, who had taken the lead in midstretch. Persuading, Queen of the Creek, Negligee, and Triple Cream completed the order of finish. No Explaining was scratched after getting sick Saturday morning.

It was the fourth consecutive victory for Check the Label, her first Grade 1 score. The last three wins have come with Dominguez aboard, but have all come with varying degrees of trouble.

Saturday, Check the Label was last early as Queen of the Creek raced uncontested through a quarter in 23.49 seconds, a half-mile in 47.80 and six furlongs in 1:13.11.

At the half-mile pole, Dominguez advanced Check the Label along the inside and seemed to be moving well, but was forced to steady at the five-sixteenths pole and she dropped back to next-to-last.

Coming to the quarter pole, Dominguez was able to guide Check the Label to the far outside and the filly exploded to the front inside the eighth pole. She had more than enough to hold off Snow Top Mountain who was making a late run under Edgar Prado.

Check the Label, in her first start since being purchased privately by Roy and Gretchen Jackson’s Lael Stable, covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1:51.41 over a yielding inner turf course and returned $4 as the favorite.

“It was a pretty bad trip today,” said Dominguez, who also won the nightcap with Academy Run. “My thought going to the half-mile was there was already a bunch of horses in front and [Eibar Coa on Gitchee Goomie] is parked four wide. I felt there was enough separation and I had enough momentum if I just cut the corner inside of him I’d be able to angle out - you save some ground by doing that.

“As it turned out when I went in there he had enough horse to keep me in there,” Dominguez added. “I’m probably a good while on heels, taking a hold then I had to check and come out. On soft ground like this it’s very difficult to make up that kind of ground. She just overcame all the trouble and she showed she’s a nice filly.”

Trainer Graham Motion wasn’t as concerned with the trouble as he was with the sight of Snow Top Mountain running late at his filly, who hadn’t been out in nine weeks.

“I have got a lot of confidence in this filly, she just has a way of getting out of trouble,” Motion said. “I was more worried about [Snow Top Mountain], because I was afraid two months, soft turf, she’s getting tired. I wasn’t so much concerned about the trouble as I was that somebody was going to nail her when she got a little late. I’m not sure they were going to get by her anyway.”

Motion said Check the Label would most likely be pointed to the Grade 1. $400,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland on Oct. 16.