Prince Lucky, sent off at 14-1 odds, won the 1 1/16-mile Easy Goer Stakes at Belmont Park.
Under John Velazquez, Prince Lucky stalked longshot Lunar Beauty three wide up the backstretch and through the turn before splitting horses in the stretch to get up for the win by a neck.
The Todd Pletcher trainee was timed in 1:41.41. Rugbyman was second at 7-2, edging Dark Vader third. Favored Mask finished a non-threatening fourth after having to sit behind horses for much of his trip on the rail. Soutache was fifth, followed by Breaking the Rules and Lunar Beauty. High North was scratched.
Prince Lucky, a gelded son of Corinthian out of Lucky Notion, by Great Notion, returned his backers $30.00 to win, $11.80 to place and $6.60 to show.
Today's win was the fourth in eight starts for Prince Lucky and pushed his earnings total to $231,690.
Todd Pletcher: "He had a very good work last week and we decided he was in sharp form and that we would take a shot. The trip at Pimlico (third in the Sir Barton on May 19) is a little hard to analyze because of the fog and conditions, but we felt like we maybe over rated him a little in terms of him taking too much of a hold of him. I told Johnny, 'Anything he is offering on his own, let him have it.'
"We castrated him after his first start for us (Sunland Derby), and I think that started to turn around his behavior. He was exemplary in the paddock and post parade, and I think it has allowed him to get his mind completely on business."
John Velazquez: "I had the perfect trip. I was able to sit back at first and get a feel for the race. He's really matured since the last time I rode him. He seems to be putting it all together and maturing at the right time. Once we came down on the inside, he was full of run and really extended away to the finish."
By Dick Downey