07/08/2017 2:36PM

Saint Alfred bests entrymate to win African Prince Stakes

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Saint Alfred continued to assert himself as the head of his Massachusetts-bred class, taking an open path on the rail in midstretch to pass entrymate Frosty Nurse and win the $50,000 African Prince Stakes on Saturday at Suffolk Downs.

The Dublin gelding was unhurried out of the gate while Frosty Nurse took command against the field of statebred 3-year-olds. Caesar’s Rush gave chase about a length behind the leader on the outside.

Frosty Nurse carried the lead into an opening quarter in 22.76 seconds while jockey Tammi Piermarini worked Saint Alfred toward the rail from the inside post. Piermarini had to check on her mount behind Caesar’s Rush in an attempt to move off the rail, which stopped their momentum and appeared to leave the front duo alone on the lead.

The lead filly entered the stretch in a half-mile time of 46.75 seconds, about 1 1/2 lengths ahead of Caesar’s Rush, then swung out three wide heading into the straightaway. Piermarini used the opportunity to cut the corner with Saint Alfred and make up ground on a newly open rail.

Under steady right-handed urging from Piermarini, Saint Alfred passed a spent Caesar’s Rush and approached a wavering Frosty Nurse from the inside. He overtook his stablemate in the final sixteenth and finished three-quarters of a length ahead of Frosty Nurse. The Doc Is In finished third, 5 3/4 lengths behind Frosty Nurse.

Saint Alfred completed the six-furlong race in 1:13 over a fast main track. He paid $2.40 as part of the entry with Frosty Nurse.

Both Saint Alfred and Frosty Nurse race as homebreds for Joseph DiRico and are trained by Karl Grusmark.

Saint Alfred improved his lifetime record to three wins in seven starts for earnings of $89,161. It was his second stakes win, following last year’s Norman Hall Stakes for 2-year-old Massachusetts-breds at Finger Lakes.