07/31/2010 7:12PM

Former claimer Turnpike Token surprises in Ontario County


 Turnpike Token, reacquired by owner-trainer M. Anthony Ferraro in mid-June out of a claiming race, returned big dividends when he outfought pacesetter Vital Argument to get up by a nose in Saturday's $50,000 Ontario County Stakes for New York-bred 3-year-olds at Finger Lakes.

Turnpike Token ($27) was rated off the early pace by jockey Wilfredo Rohena and rallied up the inside to just reach the wire ahead of Vital Argument, who was attempting to bite his rival's face during the stretch battle.

Ferraro re-claimed Turnpike Token for $12,500 on June 18. Ferraro had lost him for $7,500 on May 4. In winning for the fourth time in 12 lifetime starts, Turnpike Token ran the six furlongs in 1:10.72.

Raynick's Jet, the 1-5 favorite shipping in from downstate for trainer Steve Asmussen, finished third, 1 3/4 lengths behind the top pair.

"I didn't know if he could beat the horse from New York", said Ferraro, referring to Raynick's Jet, who was fourth in the Grade 3 Bay Shore in early April. "He finished ahead of a couple of the other ones before so I knew he would run well."