07/24/2005 11:00PM

Yankee Mon takes Evan Shipman

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ELMONT, N.Y. - Edgar Prado wrapped up a sensational spring/summer meet by guiding Yankee Mon to a front-running, 1 1/2-length victory over West Virginia in Sunday's $109,900 Evan Shipman Stakes for New York-breds on closing day at Belmont Park.

The victory was the 85th of the meet for Prado, the most by a leading rider here since Angel Cordero rode 92 winners in 1982. Prado swept the weekend stakes, taking Saturday's Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks. Prado won nine stakes at the 60-day meet.

Yankee Mon, the 9-5 favorite, overcame a slow start, but rushed to the front and opened up 2 1/2 lengths while running an opening quarter in 23.34 seconds. Yankee Mon was never really threatened from there, as West Virginia couldn't overcome a troubled break. Yankee Mon, son of Maria's Mon, covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.52 and returned $5.90 as the favorite.

Juan Rodriguez also capped a stellar meet subbing for suspended trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. Rodriguez, Dutrow's long-time assistant, saddled 21 winners at the meet, one less than leading trainer Bill Mott. Rodriguez and Dutrow combined to win 33 races.

Earlier on Sunday's card, Keep the Faith, making his first start in 15 months, set a North American record by running six furlongs in 1:06.82 on Belmont's Widener Turf Course. The previous record was 1:07 set by Answer Do at Hollywood Park in 1990.

Keep the Faith, an Australian-bred son of Sunday Silence, raced for Godolphin Stable.