06/23/2008 12:00AM

Tin Cup Chalice 5 for 5 with Mike Lee win


Tin Cup Chalice proved to be more than a Finger Lakes phenom as he shipped downstate and led nearly gate to wire to take Sunday's $109,700 Mike Lee Stakes for New York-bred 3-year-olds at Belmont Park.

Recovering from a bump at the break, Tin Cup Chalice made the lead after running a quarter-mile in 22.99 seconds, then continued to lead through fractions of 46.52 and 1:11.39 and completed the seven furlongs under Pedro Rodriguez in 1:24.12. He returned $11 to win.

Groomedforvictory, the even-money favorite, rallied to get second by three-quarters of a length over second choice Megapixel.

It was the fifth victory in as many starts for Tin Cup Chalice, who had won his previous four races by a combined 29 1/2 lengths, all at Finger Lakes. Tin Cup Chalice, bred, trained, and co-owned by Michael Lecesse, will now point for the $150,000 New York Derby at Finger Lakes on July 12. If Tin Cup Chalice can win the New York Derby and the Albany at Saratoga on Aug. 20, he would earn his owners a $250,000 bonus.- David Grening