07/22/2017 4:14PM

Twisted Tom prevails in New York Derby, Bonita Bianca gets up in Oaks

SV Photography
Twisted Tom prevailed in a heated stretch battle to win the New York Derby at Finger Lakes on July 22, 2017.

Twisted Tom won a heated stretch battle with Broken Engagement to take the 45th running on the New York Derby at Finger Lakes by a half-length on Saturday.

With Feargal Lynch riding for Chad Brown, Twisted Tom moved up to prompt the pace four wide nearing the backstretch of the 1 1/16-mile race for New York-breds. He pressed front-running Gold for the King on the backstretch, took the lead on the far turn, then outfought Broken Engagement, who had moved up on his outside, through the final quarter-mile.

Twisted Tom paid $3.50 to win and was timed in 1:44.52. He is owned by Cobra Farms, R R Partners, and Head of Plains Partners.

The New York Derby is Twisted Tom's third stakes win of the year. He had previously taken the Private Terms and Federico Tesio against open company at Laurel Park under Lynch.

Twisted Tom is now 5-for-8 in his career with earnings of $350,031. In his start prior to the New York Derby, he finished sixth in the Belmont Stakes.

Pat On the Back, who engaged Gold for the King for the early lead before settling off the pace, finished third, 2 1/4 lengths behind Broken Engagement. Gold for the King tired to fifth.

New York Oaks: Bonita Bianca up in time

Bonita Bianca overcame a rough beginning to get up and win the $75,000 New York Oaks by a neck over locally based Playinwiththeboys.

Bonita Bianca bumped with Tiznow's Smile after the start of the 1 1/16-mile Oaks and dropped back to last position in the six-horse field of statebred fillies. She began to advance inside horses after five furlongs, continued her bid three wide on the far turn, then reeled in a loose-on-the lead Playinwitheboys to get up in deep stretch under jockey Dylan Davis.

Bonita Bianca paid $4.40 as the second choice. She is owned by Michael Dubb, Bethlehem Stables, and Michael Imperio, and is trained by Rudy Rodriguez. She was timed in 1:46.72.

Bonita Bianca is now 4-for-6, and the winner of three stakes for New York-breds. The Oaks was her second start of the year and first with blinkers. She had finished fourth in an optional-claiming race at Monmouth Park in her 3-year-old debut on June 24.

Butch's Mango, a 40-1 shot based at Finger Lakes, set a relaxed and uncontested pace of 24.25 and 49.11. Playinwiththeboys took first run at her and grabbed the lead on the far turn.

Playinwitheboys opened a sizable lead under apprentice Alexis Valdes, but just failed to hold off the winner's late run.

Tiznow's Smile, the 4-5 favorite, raced in good position early but lacked the needed rally and finished third, 6 3/4 lengths behind Playinwithboys.