In the Sir Barton Stakes on Preakness day, King for a Day was an easy winner at 2-5 odds, prevailing by 2 1/2 lengths after sitting second off the early pace. He was timed in 1:41.40 under John Velazquez for the 1 1/16 mile.
King for a Day stalked pacesetter Trifor Gold on the outside through fractions of 23.50 and 46.76 seconds, moving up to challenge on the far turn and taking over at the top of the stretch before drawing away. Tone Broke, who settled in third in the early going, got up for second, 4 1/2 lengths ahead of late-running V.I.P. Ticket.
To read more about King for a Day, his background and connections, click here.
Todd Pletcher (winning trainer): “He's a horse we've always had very high hopes for. He got a little behind schedule to make any of the Triple Crown races, but the owners are very patient, just wanted to give him every chance to meet his expectations. So we gave him a bit of a break this winter. He's come back, he's trained well. We were actually looking at an allowance race. It didn't go. So this turned out to be a good spot.
“He always looked like he was in a comfortable rhythm. That was the main thing. We didn't care if we were on the lead, or where we were laying as much as just getting in a comfortable rhythm. I mean, I think the track's quick. But 1:41 and 2 is very respectable time, regardless.”
John Velazquez (winning jockey): “The horse right next to me broke awkwardly and actually kind of broke into my horse’s hind end. But once we got into the first turn, I was comfortable with where I was and from there it was pretty easy. I knew it was going to be close, I didn’t know he would be on the lead because I expected the horse next to me to be on the lead. But I wanted to make sure I got into position going into the first turn to where he was comfortable and that’s where he ended up.”
By Dick Downey