10/17/2008 11:00PM

Stud Muffin takes Empire Classic


ELMONT, N.Y. - Stud Muffin took charge in the final furlong and held off a rally from That'srightofficer to win the $250,000 Empire Classic, the richest of the seven stakes on New York Showcase Day at Belmont Park.

The 10-race card reserved for New York-breds was also a showcase for Edgar Prado and Rick Dutrow Jr.

Prado rode four winners, including three stakes. Dutrow trained three stakes winners, including a one-two finish in the Iroquois Handicap.

"Anytime you win three stakes races at Belmont Park is a great day," Dutrow said.

Stud Muffin ($10) closed out the day with the biggest win of his career. Alan Garcia angled the 4-year-old gray colt off the rail turning for home to find running room, and Stud Muffin took it from there.

The only remaining threat came from Prado as That'srightofficer came charging late to trim the final margin to 1 1/2 lengths with Love Abroad third.

"At the top of the stretch, I thought I was in front too soon," said trainer David Duggan. "But the last sixteenth of a mile, I was smiling. We might try open company. There's not much left for New York-breds."

The time was 1:49.06 for the 1 1/8 miles on the fast track.

Stud Muffin was a $35,000 claim by Duggan in March at Aqueduct from Dominic Galluscio, who won the last two Empire Classics with Organizer (2006) and Dr. V's Magic (2007).

Galluscio did have a runner in the race, the filly Raffie's Treasure, who finished ninth.

Mohawk: Logic way upsets

Logic Way ($26) got up by a neck over the pacesetting Get Serious in the $150,000 Mohawk Handicap on the turf to cap the big afternoon for Prado and Dutrow.

Breaking from the outside in the 12-horse field, Prado had Logic Way in ideal stalking position throughout, never worse than third at any point.

Hangingbyathread was third in the tight finish with Banrock, the winner of four statebred stakes this season, fourth.

The time was 1:47.71 for the 1 1/8 miles.

Ticonderoga: Love Cove gets a win

Love Cove, knocking on the door all season, broke through for her first win of 2008 in the $150,000 Ticonderoga Handicap for fillies and mares on the turf.

Much of the credit goes to Kent Desormeaux, who skillfully backed down the early pace, leaving enough in reserve for Love Cove to hold off You Go West Girl by three-quarters of a length with Nehantic Kat third.

Rewrite, last year's Ticonderoga winner, was fourth.

Love Cove ($11.60), trained by Tom Albertrani, hit the board in all four previous races this year, including a nose loss to You Go West Girl most recently in the Hey Baba Lulu Stakes at Belmont last month.

After backing down the opening half-mile to 50.13 seconds, Love Cove finished the 1 1/8 miles on the firm course in 1:49.33.

Hudson: Stormin Normandy makes amends

Stormin Normandy, denied victory in this race last year on a disqualification for drifting in the stretch, set all the fractions to win the $125,000 Hudson Stakes for sprinters.

Prado teamed with Dutrow as Stormin Normandy ($12) ran the six furlongs in 1:09.18, beating Rollers by 1 1/2 lengths.

Rollers, winner most recently of the Gallant Bob Stakes in the mud at Philadelphia Park, had dead aim at the leader from the midpoint on the turn but could not close the gap.

Ferocious Fires, third last time out in the Grade 1 Forego at Saratoga and last year's Hudson winner on Stormin Normandy's disqualification, got third.

The time was 1:09.18 for the six furlongs.

Iroquois: Dutrow fills in exacta.

Ice Cool Kitty ($25.80) came up the rail to beat By the Light by one length, giving Dutrow the one-two finish in the $125,000 Iroquois Handicap for fillies and mares. They raced as separate betting interests.

Mike Luzzi was aboard as Ice Cool Kitty ran the seven furlongs in 1:24.11.

Sleepy Hollow: Trinity Magic all the way

Trinity Magic extended his unbeaten streak to three with an easy front-running victory in the $100,000 Sleepy Hollow Stakes for 2-year-olds.

The chestnut colt broke right on top with Prado aboard and maintained a comfortable cushion throughout. Trinity Magic led by three lengths turning for home before widening the margin to seven at the finish.

Tall Poppi was second with Fiddlers Afleet third.

The time was 1:35.95 for the one mile.

Trained by Steve Asmussen, Trinity Magic ($4.40) captured a second straight statebred stakes, following his win in the Bertram Bongard here last month.

Maid of the Mist: Stormy's Smile wires in stunner

The other 2-year-old stakes also produced a front-running, win as Stormy's Smile went all the way to win by 3 1/2 lengths in the $100,000 Maid of the Mist.

That's where the comparison ends. While Trinity Magic was 6-5 in the Sleepy Hollow, Stormy's Smile pulled off a 75-1 stunner with Jose Lezcano aboard for trainer Dominic Galluscio.

It was the maiden victory for Stormy's Smile ($153), a distant fourth last time out in the Lady Finger Stakes at Finger Lakes.

The time was 1:38.05 for the one mile.

Sneakin Up spent most of the race buried in traffic before shaking loose to get second.

Anjorie was third.