Updated on 09/16/2011 7:45AM

Gygistar wins Dwyer Stakes


ELMONT, N.Y. - Gygistar won Sunday's $150,000 at Belmont Park, but still left questions about his ability to run a distance of ground.

Inheriting the lead when expected pace-setter Yankee Gentleman broke awkwardly, Gygistar found himself alone on the front end through a relatively easy half-mile and held on for a one-half length victory over the hard-charging Nothing Flat. It was five lengths back to American Style. The second and third-place finishers are trained by Nick Zito.

It was the fourth consecutive victory and fifth in six career starts for Gygistar, an Edward Evans homebred son of Prospector's Music. Gygistar had not run beyond seven furlongs prior to the Dwyer, and trainer Mark Hennig was hoping to learn about his gelding's ability to go a distance. He was left wondering what to do next after Gygistar ($4.20) ran 1 1-16 miles in 1:42.59.

Jockey John Velazquez said Gygistar stumbled a couple of jumps into the race, which scared him and made him take off. After turning back Yankee Gentleman on the turn, Gygistar was loping while all alone and didn't change leads until after the wire. He just held off Nothing Flat, who rallied from 10 lengths back under Edgar Prado

``I would have liked to have seen more,' Hennig said. ``I would have liked to have seen it unfold differently; I guess around two turns it does. I thought we'd get to follow Yankee Gentleman around there for a while.'

Breaking from the rail, Yankee Gentleman veered inward, costing him a few lengths. Jockey Jerry Bailey did not want to rush Yankee Gentleman to the lead so he let him track Gygistar through fractions of 23.72 seconds and 47.06. Yankee Gentleman crept alongside Gygistar around the turn, but could not go on turning for home and tired to fifth.

``I took a chance and to be honest with you I'm happy I did it although he gave up three or four lengths leaving there,' Bailey said. ``I found out that he could track them, but he couldn't finish his punch. Maybe it's the surface, maybe he needs grass, maybe he needs shorter.'

Hennig was noncommittal when asked if he would try Gygistar around two turns in either the Haskell or Jim Dandy, both raced are on Aug. 3.

``We've got plenty of time to think about it,' Hennig said. ``We could always run two turns and then drop back to the King's Bishop [at seven furlongs] if that's what we needed to do.'

Zito, who just missed in his bid for a third Dwyer, win said Nothing Flat would be pointed to the Haskell as he has Quest to run in the Jim Dandy.