10/02/2016 5:31PM

Mirai works early move into Bongard Stakes win


ELMONT, N.Y. - Jose Ortiz knew he was moving too soon when he let Mirai take the lead three furlongs into the seven-furlong Bertram F. Bongard Stakes at Belmont Park on Sunday.

But it didn’t matter.

Mirai, the 2-5 favorite, proved too much for his four rivals and won the $150,000 Bongard by two lengths. Pat On the Back and Haul Anchor dead-heated for second, 5 1/4 lengths in front of Horoscope. Calculated Risker finished last of five.

The win was the second in as many starts for Mirai, a son of Trappe Shot owned by Robert LaPenta and Madaket Stables and trained by Chad Brown.

“Today he was much the best,” Ortiz said. “But any other day I make a little early move. I just didn’t want to fight him too much.”

Pat On the Back actually broke on top and was pressed by Haul Anchor. But Mirai, who broke from the outside post, chased those two and poked his head in front a quarter-mile into the race.

Ortiz said Mirai actually relaxed a little after that; he ran a half-mile in 45.93 seconds while opening up a length advantage.

Mirai expanded his advantage in the stretch, though he started to lug in a little bit. Ortiz kept after him left-handed and he came to the wire two lengths in front.

Mirai covered the seven furlongs in 1:23.62 and returned $2.80 to win.

“He was a little keyed up,” Brown said. “Jose said he wanted to go and he didn’t want to fight him. Once he made the lead, he got a little green, but he still gave him a good kick.”

The Bongard is a steppingstone to the $250,000 Sleepy Hollow at a mile on Oct. 24. Brown noted that the three weeks between races is a little quick back, but he would consider the race.

Filibustin wires Gimma
Filibustin ($24) broke on top under Joe Lezcano and never relinquished the lead, drawing off from 11 rivals to win the $150,000 Joseph A. Gimma Stakes by 4 3/4 lengths.

Tiznow’s Smile, the 3-1 favorite despite her maiden status, rallied from ninth to finish second, three-quarters of a length in front of Iron Mizz.

Filibustin, a daughter of Bustin Stones owned by Alan Cook and trained by Greg Sacco, won her debut at Monmouth Park for maiden claiming $40,000 Sept. 4.

Breaking from the rail Sunday under Lezcano, Filibustin jumped out to the lead in a quarter in 22.69 seconds, a half-mile in 46.60, while being pressed by Ribbonite.

Filibustin opened up the lead entering the stretch and, as Ribbonite dropped back, that left her with a 3 1/2-length advantage with a furlong remaining. She extended the margin to the wire as she covered the seven furlongs in 1:24.38. She returned $24 to win.

Sacco said he had originally planned to run Filibustin at Saratoga this summer, but missed a race due to her being sick.

“We thought she’d break her maiden and we didn’t think we’d lose her running a New York-bred at [Monmouth],” Sacco said. “She did everything right; she’s a very smart filly, very professional. We thought we could dictate the pace. The question mark was the seven-eighths.”