05/30/2016 4:11PM

A fresh Weekend Hideaway too good in Commentator

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
A muddy track on Monday didn't bother Weekend Hideaway, who won the Commentator Stakes by 3 3/4 lengths.

ELMONT, N.Y. - After 19 races in 23 months, trainer Phil Serpe felt that Weekend Hideaway needed a little vacation. Though he wintered in south Florida as per usual, Weekend Hideaway didn’t race at Gulfstream Park.

The break appears to have done Weekend Hideaway a world of good, as he recorded his second stakes win of 2016, with a front-running 3 3/4-length victory in Monday’s $200,000 Commentator Stakes at muddy Belmont Park.

The win was the 10th from 31 starts for Weekend Hideaway, the seventh in a stakes race.

“With racing today it just goes on and on,” Serpe said. “It’s always great to get a horse freshened up. [Racing] has to take its toll on them whether it’s physically or mentally. Most of us, we stop on them when we have to stop on them.”

Weekend Hideaway came off a four-month layoff to win the Affirmed Success at six furlongs here on April 29. His biggest hurdle in the Commentator was the one-mile distance. Weekend Hideaway hadn’t won going that far, but he did run a good third to Zivo in this race in 2014.

Breaking from the outside post under Luis Saez in a scratch-reduced field of five, Weekend Hideaway dueled inside of Sioux through a quarter in 23.18 seconds and a half-mile in 45.56 seconds.

Weekend Hideaway put away Sioux coming to the quarter pole, but had to run six furlongs in 1:09.72 to do so. Though he began to drift out inside the eighth pole, Weekend Hideaway was well in front, and his pursuers, including 4-5 favorite Royal Posse, were spinning their wheels.

Weekend Hideaway easily got to the wire first, covering the mile in 1:35.95. Weekend Hideaway, a son of Speightstown owned Mike Hoffman’s Red and Black Stable, returned $9.80 as the second choice.

Royal Posse finished second, a neck in front of Eye Luv Lulu. Bellamy Way and Sioux completed the order of finish. Ostrolenka and Drama King scratched.

“I had one eye on him and one eye on Royal Posse,” Serpe said. “Royal Posse wasn’t getting untracked; he was not making up any ground. When [Saez] turned into the stretch it was just try to get him home.”

Serpe said that Weekend Hideaway would likely get another freshening and point to the John Morrissey Stakes at Saratoga on July 28.