10/17/2010 6:51PM

Violon Sacre continues to improve in Knickerbocker

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Violon Sacre, under Pablo Fragoso, takes command in deep stretch to win the Knickerbocker.

Violon Sacre rallied strongly from well off the pace under Pablo Fragoso to win Sunday’s Grade 3, $100,000 Knickerbocker Stakes at Belmont Park by one length.

Whatsthescript, who set a leisurely pace on the front end, held second by 1 1/2 lengths over Baletti. He was followed in the order of finish by War Hoot, Wesley, Operation Red Dawn, and Interpatation. Presious Passion, Midnight Mischief, and Leading On scratched.

The victory was the third in five starts for Violon Sacre since coming to North America. It was his third stakes win, but first in a graded event. He previously won the Battlefield at Monmouth in July and the PTHA President’s Cup at Parx Racing last month. Violon Sacre, who began his career in France, is now 10 for 17 lifetime.

“He seems to be improving with every race,” said Patrick Biancone, who trains Violon Sacre for owner Bernard Weill. “In Europe, he was just below the good horses. Some horses come to the United States and do not acclimate well; he has. I am very happy with him.”

Violon Sacre, who broke from post 6 in the seven-horse field, was sixth of seven early while racing wide down the backside as Whatsthescript, under John Velazquez set fractions of 25.08 seconds, 51.94, and 1:17.63 for six furlongs over Belmont’s soft inner turf course.

Violon Sacre made a three-wide bid around the far turn, tackled Whatsthescript inside the eighth pole, and gradually edged clear for the victory. Violon Sacre, a 5-year-old son of Stravinsky, covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1:52.62 and returned $3.70 as the favorite.

“Because he drew the outside, he had to drop back a little further than planned because he likes to race covered up, and then had to move a little earlier than planned as well,” Biancone said. “He has a huge turn of foot.”