06/08/2006 11:00PM

Outperformance rallies from afar

Outperformance wins the Grade 3 Hill Prince Stakes at Belmont on Friday.

ELMONT, N.Y. - When Outperformance finished second to Spider Power in an allowance race here on May 18, trainer Rick Violette felt that his 3-year-old colt might have made the lead too soon. As he watched Friday's Grade 3

unfold, Violette wondered if Outperformance would ever make the lead at all.

Racing in next-to-last position down the backstretch, Outperformance charged down the center of Belmont Park's soft Widener turf course and powered home a 1 1/2-length winner over Spider Power in Friday's Grade 3, $115,400 Hill Prince Stakes before 4,612 at Belmont.

Spider Power rallied along the rail to be second, three-quarters of a length ahead of her stablemate, Carnera. Giant Basil, the lukewarm 5-2 favorite, finished eighth of 10.

Violette and jockey Javier Castellano agreed that Outperfor-mance would be better suited to coming from well off the pace. But as Violette watched Outperformance backing up down the backside, "I really wondered what he was doing," Violette said.

Castellano told Violette that Outperformance was not handling the soft turf too well, so he took a hold of him and tried to get him to settle. When Castellano asked Outperformance to run around the far turn, he made an impressive move. Castellano was able to get him off the rail and into the clear turning for home, and he closed swiftly while in the six path in the stretch. Outperformance, a son of Aptitude owned by Klaravich Stables, covered the mile in 1:36.74 and returned $15.40.

"He finished so good, good, good today," Castellano said. "I think that's his style: You got to take a hold of him and let him finish."

Queen of Song: Capote's Crown takes it

Capote's Crown, a half-sister to Smokey Glacken, came through a narrow opening along the rail turning for home under Kent Desormeaux and drew clear to a convincing 3 3/4-length victory in Friday's $65,950 Queen of Song Stakes. Swap Fliparoo rallied for second, 1 1/2 lengths ahead of the 4-5 favorite, Khalila, a stablemate of Capote's Crown.

Wild Gams was eased in a field scratched from 10 to four.

Capote's Crown, trained by Kiaran McLaughlin and owned by Eldon Farm, ran six the furlongs in 1:09.01 and returned $8.90 to win. She topped a $51 exacta with longshot Swap Fliparoo.

McLaughlin said Capote's Crown will most likely start next in the Grade 1 Prioress on July 8.