06/26/2016 5:42PM

Louisville First perseveres to win Cupecoy's Joy


ELMONT, N.Y. - Louisville First and Little Bear Cat, two of the longer-priced runners in the $100,000 Cupecoy's Joy division of the New York Stallion Stakes, finished first and second in the seven-furlong turf race for 3-year-old fillies at Belmont Park on Sunday.

Libreta, the 7-2 second choice in the nine-horse field, moved up soon after the start to take the lead. She showed the way to mid-stretch before relinquishing the lead to 13-1 Little Bear Cat, who had tracked her to the stretch. Louisville First, who broke sharply from the ouside gate and settled a few lengths off the pace, raced three wide on the far turn, and then persevered in the stretch to overtake Little Bear Cat by a half-length.

Louisville First, a daughter of Girolamo trained by George Weaver and ridden by Eric Cancel, was winning for the second time from seven starts. She paid $30 to win and combined with Little Bear Cat for a $2 exacta worth $340.50.

"She warmed up really good," Cancel said. "During the race she felt really prepared. I didn't have to ask her early because I knew I had a lot of horse."

Louisville First was timed in 1:21.97 after Libreta set splits of 22.75, 45.62, and 1:09.80.

Frosty Margarita, along the inside early, finished with a belated bid from well out in the track to be fourth at 9-2, a nose behind Little Bear Cat. The $1 trifecta paid $1,081.

Baronet lodged a strong bid four wide into the stretch, but flattened out to finish fourth at 11-1, three-quarters of a length behind Frosty Margarita. It was another half-length back to Libreta.

Ametrine, the 3-1 favorite, never reached contention.