11/21/2015 3:13PM

Sudden Surprise gets clear late to win Notebook


There were no surprises Saturday the $100,000 Notebook Stakes at Aqueduct as Sudden Surprise got the best of an early pace battle with Love That Jazz and drove clear to win the six-furlong race for 2-year-old New York-breds.

With regular rider John Velazquez aboard, Sudden Surprise ($2.60) shook off Love That Jazz in the stretch and went on to post his fourth win from five career outings. The Repole Stable homebred colt by Giant Surprise ran six furlongs in 1:11.27 on a fast main track and won by 1 3/4 lengths. He now has won stakes at all three New York Racing Association tracks, having won the Funny Cide at Saratoga and the Bertram F. Bongard at Belmont Park for trainer Todd Pletcher.

“Sometimes, the ones you’re supposed to win are the hardest ones to win,” said Pletcher. “You never take anything for granted. The horse had trained very well, we were backing up to a distance he’s had success at, and we drew a good post, but I think this year’s crop of New York-breds is the strongest I’ve seen in a while.”

Dr. Shane, who was coming off a win in the New York Breeders’ Futurity at Finger Lakes, rallied to get by Love That Jazz for second in the closing strides, thereby completing a $5.60 exacta linking the first two betting choices in the field of six. The trifecta paid $17.20.