Updated on 09/16/2011 7:21AM

Left Bank gets his prep


ELMONT, N.Y. - For the connections of Left Bank, the anxious moments came after the running of Saturday's Grade 3 Bold Ruler Handicap at Belmont Park.

Despite being part of a three-ply speed duel, Left Bank won the $102,900 Bold Ruler by a length over Silky Sweep. While galloping out after the race, Left Bank unseated jockey John Velazquez. Fortunately, Left Bank galloped riderless for only an eighth of a mile before being picked up by an outrider.

"The outrider did a nice job picking him up, and it looked like he came back without any bumps or bruises on him," Left Bank's trainer, Todd Pletcher, said.

Velazquez said he was caught completely off guard when Left Bank was spooked by something he saw an eighth of a mile past the wire. Velazquez said he twisted his ankle, but rode the remainder of the card.

"He's galloping out fine and all of a sudden he ducked and leapt me up in the air," Velazquez said. "He had never done it before. I'm so confident I've got a long hold on him, he ducked and I'm in the air. I couldn't believe it."

During the race, everything went sweetly for Left Bank, who was using the Bold Ruler as a prep for the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap on May 27. Breaking a step slowly, Left Bank raced on the pace outside of Wrangler and Say Florida Sandy through fractions of 22.57 and 45.17 seconds.

Left Bank took the lead turning for home, put away a stubborn Say Florida Sandy inside the eighth pole, and held the late-running Silky Sweep at bay. Say Florida Sandy finished third, nine lengths ahead of Wrangler. Late Carson was an early scratch.

Left Bank covered the six furlongs in 1:09.30 and returned $2.70 as the heavy favorite.

"He did it pretty easy, I thought," Velazquez said.

Pletcher, who trains the horse for Michael Tabor, said he told Velazquez that he wanted to win, but that he also wanted to save something for the Met Mile.

"We didn't need to win by five or 10, we just needed to get a race into him," Pletcher said. "He went [1:09.30], carried top weight, and I thought he put in a big run, so I was happy."

Nonsuch Bay upsets Nassau County

Nonsuch Bay split horses in deep stretch under Javier Castellano and outgamed Wopping to the wire to win the $200,000, Grade 2 by a nose. It was a half-length back to pace-setting Wilzada in third.

Nonsuch Bay, a daughter of Mr. Greeley, got shuffled back in the early stages of the Nassau County and was eight lengths behind Wilzada, who set fractions of 23.04 and 46.53 seconds. Nonsuch Bay angled to the inside for the stretch drive. In deep stretch, Nonsuch Bay split Wilzada and Wopping to get up. Nonsuch Bay covered the seven furlongs in 1:23.90 and returned $24 to win.

Castellano said trainer Frank Alexander wanted Nonsuch Bay close to the pace, but the filly resented dirt being kicked in her face early on.

"I tried to put her in the clear," Castellano said. "She responded very good in the stretch. Not too many fillies, when you put them between horses want to go. This filly, when you put her between horses, she doesn't care."

Infinite Spirit, the 9-5 favorite, finished fifth, beaten five lengths.

Both Nonsuch Bay and Wopping are likely to run back in the Grade 1 Acorn on June 7.