07/16/2017 5:30PM

Pure Silver cements closing weekend stakes double for Pletcher, Velazquez

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Chelsea Durand/NYRA
Pure Silver, under John Velazquez, held off heavily favored I Still Miss You to win The Lynbrook Stakes.

ELMONT, N.Y. – It isn’t usually deemed an upset when trainer Todd Pletcher wins a stakes race for 2-year-olds, especially with a 2-1 shot.

But, Pure Silver pulled a mild surprise in Sunday’s $100,000 Lynbrook Stakes, taking the lead soon after the start and holding off heavily favored I Still Miss You by 1 1/2 lengths in the closing-day feature at Belmont Park.

The win gave Pletcher and jockey John Velazquez a sweep of the 2-year-old stakes for New York breds held this weekend at Belmont. The dynamic duo also won Saturday’s Rockville Center Stakes with What a Catch.

I Still Miss You, trained by Jeremiah Englehart, was sent off the 1-5 favorite based on a sharp maiden win in May followed by a victory against open company in the Astoria Stakes in June. Perhaps three races in 10 weeks proved too much for I Still Miss You.

Velazquez thought I Still Miss You, ridden by Javier Castellano, would be in front. Pure Silver broke so sharp that she lost her footing a little bit and when Velazquez gave her one tap she picked herself up and zipped to the lead after running an opening quarter in 23.01 seconds.

“I had to tap her second jump and she’s gone,” Velazquez said. “I look and [Castellano’s] not there, I thought maybe he didn’t break. I was expecting he’d be in front of me.”

Pure Silver maintained a length advantage over I Still Miss You through a half-mile in 46.82 seconds. In the stretch, I Still Miss You tried to make a run at Pure Silver, but Pure Silver had more to give and she held I Still Miss You at bay.

Pure Silver, a daughter of Mission Impazible owned and bred by Twin Creeks Racing Stables, improved to 2-for-2 in her career. She returned $6.20 as the second choice.

“We were just going to let the jockeys play the break, Pure Silver broke on top and Johnny took advantage of that,” said Byron Hughes, assistant to Pletcher. “It seemed like our filly dug in a little bit. I thought that other filly had the advantage, but our filly held her off.”

For Pletcher, it was his seventh win with a 2-year-old at this meet and 18th over this year.

Castellano said he was content to sit second and said simply his filly couldn’t catch Pure Silver.

“I had the opportunity from the quarter pole to the wire to go by her and when I asked her she didn’t take off she was just steady,” Castellano said.  “Three races in a short time might have been too much to ask.”