05/30/2010 12:00AM

Minnie Punt breaks through in Kingston


ELMONT, N.Y. - Minnie Punt announced his presence as a potential force in the New York-bred male turf division this year with an explosive stretch kick that carried him past the entire field and into the winner's circle in Sunday's at Belmont Park.

Meanwhile, the 6-year-old mare Chestoria displayed some of her early career form by splitting horses in midstretch and drawing clear to a 1 3/4-length win in the for statebred fillies and mares on the turf.

In the Kingston, Minnie Punt trailed the field of seven through fractions of 23.68 seconds, 46.42 and 1:08.23 set by Writingonthewall. At the three-sixteenths pole, Jose Lezcano swung the 4-year-old gelded son of Gold Fever six wide and he stormed past Writingonthewall and outkicked Uncle T Seven to win by a half-length. Uncle T Seven was second by a neck over Writingonthewall.

"I took him back, and I knew he had a pretty good run in him," said Lezcano, who won three races on Sunday's card. "My horse was going fast, and once I got a hole I knew I had it."

Banrock, the two-time defending Kingston winner, raced up close on Sunday and finished fifth in his 7-year-old debut.

Minnie Punt, owned by Marjac Pino Stable and Vincent Bommarito and trained by Mike Miceli, covered the 1 1/16 miles over firm ground in 1:39.73 and returned $11.40 to win.

In the Mt. Vernon, the pace was much slower and jockey David Cohen adjusted aboard Chestoria, who raced a close-up and ground-saving fourth behind Akilina and Tulipmania. Those two alternated on the lead through dawdling splits of 25.68 seconds, 51.13 and 1:14.43 for six furlongs.

Turning for home, Cohen guided Chestoria off the rail, and they split Akilina and Tulipmania and drew clear to the victory. Paraiba closed to be second, three-quarters of a length ahead of Akilina. You Go West Girl, the 7-5 favorite, finished fourth, beaten two lengths.

Chestoria, a daughter of Chester House owned by E El R Stable and trained by Bill Badgett, covered the 1 1/16 miles over firm turf in 1:42.89 and returned $16.80.

"It was nice the owners decided to run her another year," Badgett said. "David rode a great race and did a tremendous job of judging the pace. I thought they would go in 48 or 49, and when I saw them going in 51 and change, I was totally shocked. He put her in a perfect position. He really did a good job."