Updated on 09/16/2011 8:12AM

Lido Palace guts it out

Lido Palace makes the lead in deep stretch en route to his second consecutive victory in the Woodward Stakes.

ELMONT, N.Y. - Lido Palace on Saturday joined a select group of horses to win the Grade 1 in consecutive years, but he had to work a lot harder than expected to do it.

Under the whip from the five-sixteenths pole, Lido Palace, the 2-5 favorite, persevered through the stretch under Jorge Chavez and wore down Gander in the final 70 yards to win the $500,000 Woodward by three-quarters of a length before 13,106 at Belmont Park.

Gander, who was beaten a length when third to Lemon Drop Kid and Behrens in the 2000 Woodward, held second by a neck over Express Tour. Baseball Champion, Sherpa Guide, and Cat's at Home completed the order of finish.

Lido Palace, trained by Bobby Frankel, joins Sword Dancer (1959-60), Kelso (1961-63), Forego (1974-77), Slew o' Gold (1983-84), and Cigar (1995-96) as horses to win the Woodward in back-to-back years.

Despite the hard-fought victory, John Amerman, the owner of Lido Palace, said he is giving serious consideration to paying the $800,000 supplemental fee to make the Lido Palace eligible for the $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic on Oct. 26 at Arlington Park.

Amerman, who does not agree with the supplemental policy, said a good performance by Lido Palace in the $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup on Sept. 28 could earn him a trip to the Breeders' Cup.

"If he runs a good race in the Jockey Club, I think he's the best horse campaigning, so we ought to show he's the best horse," Amerman said.

Breaking from the rail, Lido Palace raced close up in third position down the backside while Express Tour set fractions of 23.28 seconds, 45.93, and 1:09.61 with Gander in close pursuit.

Chavez gave Lido Palace two cracks of his right-handed whip leaving the five-sixteenths pole to get him motivated and guided him to the outside turning for home. Gander, under Richard Migliore, made the lead inside the three-sixteenths pole but Lido Palace was able to run him down. Lido Place covered the nine furlongs in 1:47.75 and returned $2.90. The victory was Lido Palace's first since he won the Woodward last year.

Amerman disputed the notion that his horse had a tough time.

"I thought he won fairly easily considering the post position he had," Amerman said. "I think the time was quite acceptable. Maybe on paper he should win by six lengths, but you might use up the horse to do that so I was very pleased with his race."