04/30/2016 5:43PM

A Lot noses out Green Mask in Elusive Quality

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Chelsea Durand/NYRA
A Lot (right), with Irad Ortiz Jr. aboard, snaps a six-racing losing streak with his narrow win over Green Mask in the seven-furlong Elusive Quality.

Seven furlongs over the Belmont turf course seems to bring out the best in A Lot and Green Mask.

Both horses won the Paradise Creek Stakes - A Lot in 2015 and Green Mask in 2014 - a seven-furlong race over the Belmont turf course. Neither had won a race since. A Lot had lost six straight, Green Mask seven in a row.

Saturday, A Lot and Green Mask flashed back to their stakes-winning form, with A Lot holding off Green Mask by a nose to win the $100,000 Elusive Quality Stakes on the second day of the Belmont meet.

On a firm turf course that has yielded crazy-fast times so far, the final time of 1:19.23 was a Widener turf course record, supplanting the mark of 1:19.47 set Friday by Stormy Victoria.

A Lot, a 4-year-old son of Tapit owned by Amerman Racing, was making his first start for trainer Chad Brown. The horse had previously been trained by Bill Mott.

“The horse came into us in very good condition from Bill,” said Brown, who watched the race from Kentucky, where he is preparing My Man Sam and Shagaf for next Saturday’s Kentucky Derby. “We just thought the race made a lot of sense. The one-turn races seem to work for this horse.”

A Lot, under Irad Ortiz Jr., got a hot pace in which to close as Big Guy Ian shot broke sharp from his outside post and ran a quarter-mile in 21.59 seconds and a half-mile in 43.68 while prompted by Mosler, who won this race last year.

A Lot was seventh, about six lengths off the pace, but with no horses around him.

Around the turn, Ortiz launched a wide rally with A Lot and was five-wide turning for home. A Lot caught Mosler inside the eighth pole, but then had to fend off a late run from Green Mask, who was last early but was charging down the stretch under Joel Rosario. But A Lot had just enough to hold on.

Green Mask finished second by three lengths over Mosler. He was followed, in order, by King Kreesa, Kharafa, Sandy’z Slew, Bye Bye Bernie, Spartiatis, and Big Guy Ian. Aztec Brave scratched.

A Lot returned $11.80 as the 9-2 second choice.

“On paper you couldn’t have predicted a pace quite that strong up front,” Brown said. “Then again these one-turn races so far at Belmont look like the times are quick, but it all worked out. He showed a lot of heart. That horse had him collared well before the wire and he wouldn’t let him go by. I was most impressed by that.”

Brown said provided A Lot comes out of the race in good shape, he will make his next start in the Grade 3, $300,000 Jaipur Invitational on Belmont Stakes Day.