09/06/2014 4:37PM

Red Rifle fires in Yankee Affair Stakes

Chelsea Durand/New York Racing Association
Red Rifle, ridden by John Velazquez, wins the Yankee Affair Stakes on Saturday.

Taking command into the stretch, Red Rifle opened a daylight lead and turned back a late bid from 7-5 favorite Reflecting to win Saturday’s $100,000 Yankee Affair Stakes at Belmont Park.

Red Rifle stalked pacesetter Elnaawi through fractions of 24.81 seconds, 49.84, 1:14.69, and 1:39.23, wrested the lead turning for home beneath John Velazquez, and remained clear of the late-running Reflecting by just over a length.

Red Rifle ($5.40), who won the Maxxam Gold Cup in track-record time on dirt earlier this year as the first-ever starter for Todd Pletcher at Sam Houston Race Park, ran the 1 1/2 miles in 2:27.49 on the Widener course for his first win on turf.

Reflecting finished gamely and was clearly second-best over Elnaawi. Ducks Dock and Slim Shadey completed the order of finish.