07/04/2016 3:15PM

Comfort runs down Touchofstarquality in State Dinner Stakes

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Chelsea Durand/NYRA
Comfort, with John Velazquez aboard, wins the State Dinner Stakes on Monday.

ELMONT, N.Y. - Touchofstarquality was not quite ready for his close-up Monday at Belmont Park as Comfort ran by him in the final sixteenth of a mile to win the $100,000 State Dinner Stakes by 3 1/4 lengths.

Touchofstarquality, the 6-5 favorite coming off a smart-looking allowance win on May 21, set the pace Monday but had to settle for second, three lengths ahead of J S Bach. Elnaawi and Dontbetwithbruno completed the order of finish.

Comfort, a 4-year-old son of Indian Charlie, won for the second time in as many starts this year and it was his third consecutive win dating back to last November. He is 3 for 4 since being purchased by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and turned over to trainer Todd Pletcher in the winter of 2015.

Comfort had a little help from his uncoupled stablemate J S Bach, who may have prompted Touchofstarquality to go a bit quicker than he would have liked early in the 1 1/16-mile race. Touchofstarquality ran an opening half-mile in 46.41 seconds and six furlongs in 1:09.89.

John Velazquez had Comfort in fourth, three lengths off the early pace and just outside of Dontbetwithbruno. Velazquez moved Comfort into third leaving the half-mile pole and second at the five-sixteenths. Touchofstarquality, under Jose Ortiz, appeared to spurt away for a stride or two in upper stretch, but Comfort kept on coming and took the lead just outside the sixteenth pole.

Comfort, a 4-year-old son of Indian Charlie, covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:40.76 and returned $6.40 as the second choice.

“He’s kind of one-paced and the other ones are a little faster than us," Velazquez said. "At the same time I didn’t want to lose contact with the two horses in front."

Velazquez said he was glad to see J S Bach prompting Touchofstarquality, "because that horse, when he gets to the lead he’s really tough.”

Ortiz offered no excuse for Touchofstarquality, simply saying, “I think he just got beat.”

 

Vince Piscitelli More than 1 year ago
Ray,

Listen and listen very carefully.

Impo, 97.7% or horse racing is fixed. but, and this is a big but, sometimes you are in on the fix and sometimes you ain't.

So it all evens out at the end and that is why I continue to plunge like a madman every day.

Capice?

Vince P
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
Can't play a track that has 2 brothers working together to win 70% of the races. And a bunch of miracle trainers.