Updated on 09/16/2011 9:27AM

Pletcher's backup captures Lawrence

Email
Horsephotos
Fisher Pond, a main-track only entry, splashes to 4 1/4-length victory in Saturday's $150,000 Lawrence Realization Handicap at Belmont.

ELMONT, N.Y. - When entries were taken Thursday morning for Saturday's $150,000 , it had not started to rain in New York. But, the forecast was ominous so trainer Todd Pletcher entered Fisher Pond as a main-track only in case the race was rained off the turf.

The rains came Thursday night and continued through Saturday, forcing the Lawrence Realization from the Widener Turf Course to a sloppy main track. Pletcher scratched his turf horse, Finality, and cashed his insurance policy when Fisher Pond splashed to a 4 1/4-length victory at soggy Belmont Park.

Irish Colonial finished second, 3 1/2 lengths ahead of Extra Check. Deeliteful Guy finished fourth while Van Minister was eased. Battier, Chiselling, Macaw and Racey Dream joined Finality as scratches.

"The horse seemed to make a lot of sense; he won a mile and a quarter off the turf race this summer, and acted like he'd like not only a sloppy track but the distance being an A.P. Indy," Pletcher said. "We were hoping to run [Finality], but when it came off I thought we were in just as good a shape."

Under John Velazquez, Fisher Pond stalked the Extra Check through fractions of 24.19 seconds, 48.90 and 1:13.97 and 1:39.36. Fisher Pond drew on even terms leaving the half-mile pole, put Extra Check away at the five-sixteenths pole and held off Irish Colonial through the stretch. Velazquez dropped his whip at the quarter pole and was hitting Fisher Pond with his goggles through the stretch.

Fisher Pond, an $800,000 yearling purchase made by Eugene and Laura Melnyk, covered the 12 furlongs in 2:30.49 and returned $4.50 to win.

"He's lazy, he's a horse that needs a few spankings," Velazquez said. "I got desperate and went for the goggles."

o For the first time since NYRA initiated the guaranteed $500,000 pick four this summer, the pool failed to reach the guarantee on its own. The pool totaled only $298,657, and the NYRA had to supplement it with about $151,000 to reach the guarantee. The payoff on the combination of Gail's Drive ($21.40), Smolder ($5.40), Fisher Pond ($4.50) and Love Less ($10.20) was $1,068. The parlay would have returned $663.

o Trainer Gary Contessa had a perfect day, saddling three winners on the card. He won the fourth with Mrs. Smooth Moves ($5.90), the sixth with Grey Comet ($8.30) and the seventh with Gail's Drive ($21.80).