06/20/2009 11:00PM

Legal Consent rolls, Cocoa Beach fades


ELMONT, N.Y. - It was a day of mixed results for prohibitive stakes favorites Sunday at Belmont Park, with Legal Consent grinding out a victory in the Mike Lee Stakes and Cocoa Beach finishing last in the Floral Park Heatherten Stakes.

Legal Consent, a 1-4 favorite in a field of five, struck the front with three furlongs remaining under Ramon Dominguez then held off a stretch threat from Slevin to win the $105,500 Mike Lee Stakes for 3-year-old New York-breds by a half-length. It was 3 1/2 lengths back to That's Rich. Lookin at Her and Monte Carlo completed the order of finish.

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Legal Consent, a son of Officer owned and bred by Lansdon Robbins III, covered seven furlongs in 1:24.72 and returned $2.40. He won for the third straight time and fourth from 10 overall starts.

"Sometimes there's a lot of pressure when you're 2-5," said winning trainer Carlos Martin. "After he made the lead, in the stretch, he dug in - Ramon said they weren't going to get by him"

The Mike Lee is the first leg of the Big Apple Triple, a series that continues with the New York Derby at Finger Lakes on July 11 and concludes with the Albany at Saratoga on Aug. 26. The connections of Legal Consent would earn a $250,000 bonus if the horse is able to win the other two races.

Last year, Tin Cup Chalice became the first horse to sweep the series and earn the bonus.

Cocoa Beach falters in return

Legal Consent was only the second-strongest favorite on the card. The heaviest public choice was Cocoa Beach, who on paper towered over her rivals in the $68,400 Floral Park Heatherten Stakes, in her first start since winning the Grade 1 Matriarch last November.

A little headstrong early on under Dominguez, Cocoa Beach offered nothing when asked to run leaving the quarter pole while being floated out by another horse in the process. She finished last, beaten three lengths by With Flying Colors, who split horses in deep stretch en route to a 2 1/4-length win. Nicksappealinglady was second, one-half length ahead of Wyatt's Women.

"Ramon said she pulled hard and got very tired in the race," said Rick Mettee, the assistant trainer for Cocoa Beach. "He said she felt short to him."

With Flying Colors, a daughter of A.P. Indy owned and bred by the Phipps Stable and trained by Shug McGaughey, covered 1 1/16 miles over a sloppy sealed track in 1:44.10 and returned $13.20 to win and $25.20 to place. Nicksappealinglady returned $33.80 to place.

Of the $217,905 in the place pool, $198,846 was wagered on Cocoa Beach. There was no show wagering.