07/03/2007 11:00PM

Dwyer a tale of trips


ELMONT, N.Y. - Any Given Saturday had the best post position, got the best trip, and therefore got the second half of the 3-year-old season off to a better start than did Nobiz Like Shobiz in Wednesday's Grade 2, $150,000 Dwyer Stakes at Belmont Park.

Sitting second behind longshot leader Believeinmenow through a modest pace, Any Given Saturday took command turning for home and easily defeated slight favorite Nobiz Like Shobiz by four lengths before a July Fourth crowd of 8,415 at Belmont Park.

It was another five lengths back to Sightseeing in third. Believeinmenow was fourth followed by Helsinki. First Defence scratched.

Any Given Saturday and Nobiz Like Shobiz were making their first starts since running eighth and 10th, respectively, in the Kentucky Derby. Any Given Saturday, a $1.1 million yearling purchase, won for the fourth time from eight starts, but this was his first graded stakes victory.

Breaking from the outside post under Garrett Gomez, Any Given Saturday stalked Believeinmenow through fractions of 23.87 seconds, 47.05, and 1:10.93. Gomez shook his colt up turning for home and the two won handily. Any Given Saturday, owned by WinStar Farm and Padua Stables and trained by Todd Pletcher, covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:40.69 and returned $5.30 to win.

"When we kicked on for home he gave me a nice turn of foot, leveled off, and went to doing some nice running for us," Gomez said.

Said Pletcher: "We had the best post in terms of letting the race unfold and see how it developed. It's good when you have a horse like this that's capable of doing anything. You could be on the lead or sit off the pace. We weren't too worried about the fractions being too slow, we just wanted to be in a good position."

Cornelio Velasquez had Nobiz Like Shobiz - racing with blinkers off and front bandages on - right behind Any Given Saturday down the backside. He went outside of him around the far turn, but his late kick was no match for Any Given Saturday.

"He relaxed good, but I think he maybe needed the race," Velasquez said. "The other horse, he ran very fast today. My horse, the last sixteenth, he was empty a little bit."

Pletcher said he would consider either the Jim Dandy at Saratoga on July 29 or the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park on Aug. 5 for Any Given Saturday's next start.