Updated on 09/16/2011 9:50AM

Snake Mountain gets trip - again


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Snake Mountain got a perfect trip winning last month's Stuyvesant Handicap. Now make it two perfect trips in a row.

Snake Mountain, under Jose Santos, captured the Grade 3 Queens County Handicap on Saturday by 1 1/4 lengths, but he won more comfortably than that margin might suggest.

Snake Mountain rated in fourth position while in the clear through the early stages of the 1 3/16-mile race, as Pleasant Breeze, Jarf, and Cat's at Home battled heads apart for the lead through fractions of 23.45 seconds, 47.87, and 1:11.58. Santos swung Snake Mountain three wide approaching the quarter pole, they went clear of Jarf in the upper stretch, and Snake Mountain had plenty left to hold a four-wide Docent at bay.

"We fell into a good trip," said Santos, who is now 3 for 3 aboard Snake Mountain. "He just relaxed on the backstretch."

Docent was a clear runner-up, finishing nearly three lengths clear of third-place Cat's at Home. The order of finish was completed by Pleasant Breeze, Nothing Flat, Country Be Gold, and Jarf.

Snake Mountain lost the first four starts of his career in Ireland, but he has improved since coming to the United States, beginning with a 12-length maiden win on Aqueduct's inner dirt track last winter. This was his seventh win from 10 starts on U.S. dirt, and his second graded stakes win in a row.

Snake Mountain ran the 1 3/16 miles in 1:56.84 over a fast inner track, and paid $5.90 as the favorite of the crowd of 5,364. The $66,000 winner's share of the $110,000 purse increased his lifetime earnings to $310,607.

Co-owner Jack Shelley said Snake Mountain will probably run next in the Aqueduct Handicap on Jan. 18.