09/09/2017 5:56PM

Securitiz grinds to victory in Seattle Slew Stakes

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Securitiz steadily wore down Backsideofthemoon for a neck victory in Saturday's Seattle Slew Stakes at Belmont Park.

ELMONT, N.Y. – With a half-mile to run in Saturday’s Seattle Slew Stakes at Belmont Park, jockey Manny Franco thought he was going to finish last aboard Securitiz.

But, he remembered that trainer Jimmy Jerkens told him he had to stay busy on the 5-year-old son of Tiznow to get the best out of the horse. In the last eighth of a mile, Securitiz finally responded to Franco’s urging and he was able to wear down Backsideofthemoon to win the $100,000 Seattle Slew by a neck. It was 3 3/4 lengths back to Doyouknowsomething in third. Conquest Windycity, the 4-5 favorite, finished fourth.

Far From Over, the morning-line favorite, and Royal Posse, the millionaire New York-bred gelding whose better days are behind him, scratched.

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For Securitiz, it was just his third win from 17 career starts. He had lost eight consecutive races since clearing the first-level allowance condition on Feb. 24, 2016 at Gulfstream Park.

All four horses had the lead at some point in the Seattle Slew.

Conquest Windycity, the 4-5 favorite, broke on top under Kendrick Carmouche, who kept his colt in the six-path down the backstretch, with Securitiz to his outside in second. Doyouknowsomething, under Eric Cancel, took a short lead after a half-mile in 47.30. After five furlongs, Conquest Windycity, Backsideofthemoon and Doyouknowsomething were heads apart with Securitiz in last and under a drive.

By midstretch, John Velazquez and Backsideofthemoon, had put away Conquest Windycity and Doyouknowsomething. But a resurgent Securitiz kept on coming and got up in the final strides.

“He broke sharp. I didn’t want to let the favorite go easy, so I tried to put a little pressure on early,” Franco said. “But by the half-mile pole my horse looked like he was tired, like he was going to finish last. But Jimmy told me that you got to stay busy with him, and I’m lucky he give it to me at the end and I win.”

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Securitiz, owned by Centennial Farms, covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.19 and returned $6.90 as the 2-1 second choice.

“He likes to see the horses within his sights,” Jerkens said. “I said ‘I wouldn’t mind to see him close as long as you weren’t using him.’ When I saw the three of them head and head and they didn’t look like they were sitting on them either, I felt pretty good there. I thought once he got him out to the clear he might wear them down.”

The loss was a tough one to take for the connections of Backsideofthemoon, whose owners, Jim and Sally Hill, were part-owners of the 1977 Triple Crown winner for whom the race is named. Leo O’Brien, the trainer of Backsideofthemoon, was seeking his first stakes victory since 2011.

“He’s always a little better running at horses than going to the lead,” O’Brien said. “He should win a stake.”