05/24/2009 11:00PM

Mr. Windjammer rallies to Baker win


A horse with a strong affinity for the surface at Finger Lakes took the $50,000 George Barker Handicap, but it wasn't three-time defending champion Johnie Bye Night, who was an early scratch.

Mr. Windjammer ($8), last of five early, rallied between horses in the stretch to score a one-length victory in the six-furlong stakes restricted to New York-breds.

It was the seventh win in 11 starts locally for Mr. Windjammer, a 4-year-old gelding ridden by Gabriel Suarez for trainer Jonathan Buckley. He won last summer's Ontario County for 3-year-olds and tuned up for this spot by finishing second against open company in a 4 1/2-furlong allowance last month.

Mr. Windjammer's victory ended a streak of five straight Barkers for trainer Charlton Baker. In addition to the last three runnings with Johnie Bye Night, Baker won the race in 2004 and 2005 with Top Shoter.

Mr. Bourbon Street had a shot to extend Baker's streak, but after setting the pace he faded in the stretch and had to settle for third, a half-length behind runner-up Hidden Expense, a 15-1 shot.

The Aqueduct-based Be Bullish, the heavy favorite in a field of five at 1-4, hit the gate at the start, was fanned five wide coming around the turn, and finished fourth.