01/21/2013 5:12PM

Laurel Park: Private Tale picks off rivals to take Native Dancer

Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
Private Tale now has won 6 of 14 career starts, with the Native Dancer his first career stakes win.

Private Tale overcame a tardy start before getting a terrific trip under pick-up jockey Sheldon Russell and rallying for a mild upset Monday in the $125,000 Native Dancer Stakes at Laurel Park in Laurel, Md.

After hopping at the start of the “about” 1 1/16-mile race, Private Tale was never rushed when he was picking off rivals one by one, finally pushing past the front-running favorite, Javerre, to win by three-quarters of a length. He returned $16 after finishing in 1:45.35 over a fast main track.

“He’s all class,” said Russell, who replaced the proverbial “no boy” in getting the late call from trainer Mike Trombetta. “We just followed them all around there. He relaxed nicely before I asked him at the half-mile mile pole. He’s just a grinder. We were lucky we got up in time.”

Javerre, a lukewarm 5-2 choice who did all the dirty work up front, shaking off all challenges but the last one, was another half-length ahead of third-place Adirondack King in a field of nine older horses.

Private Tale, a Virginia-bred 5-year-old gelding, is owned by Three Diamonds Farm. He now has won 6 of 14 career starts, with the Native Dancer his first career stakes win.

“I told Sheldon, on his best day, this horse might be right there with these,” said Trombetta. “They went pretty quick up front, and we were the benefactor.”

One hour earlier, Broad Rule ($35.20) got a perfect stalking trip under Forest Boyce in upsetting the $125,000 Fire Plug Stakes for older sprinters.

Trained by the venerable Dickie Small for Fitzhugh LLC, Broad Rule wore down the front-running longshot Flattering Andy, then had enough left to hold off Harbor Kid, the 7-2 third choice, to prevail by a neck. Flattering Andy (32-1) was another 1 1/4 lengths back in third in the field of six.

“It all fell into place today,” said Boyce. “I was going, ‘Come on wire’ at the sixteenth pole, and fortunately he dug in.”

Immortal Eyes had no mishap when he ran fourth as the even-money favorite, while Sportswriter (4-1) and Wolfcamp (5-2) brought up the rear.

Broad Rule, a 5-year-old horse by Dixie Union, is a half-brother to four stakes winners, most notably millionaire Include, now a successful sire. A Maryland-bred homebred, Broad Rule now has won 5 of 26 career starts and was earning his first stakes victory in completing the six-furlong distance in 1:11.60.