Stakes Recap
Jun 27, 2020
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Victim of Love upsets Vagrancy (G3) at 27-1

by Keith McCalmont



Tommy Town Thoroughbreds' Victim of Love, expertly handled by Jose Lezcano, used a prominent trip to upset Saturday's Grade 3, $100,000 Vagrancy, a 6 ½-furlong sprint for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up at Belmont Park.

The Vagrancy was the first of four graded stakes on a loaded 11-race card that also includes the Grade 1, $250,000 Just a Game for fillies and mares going one mile on the Widener turf; the Grade 2, $150,000 True North, for 4-year-olds and up going 6 ½ furlongs; and the Grade 2, $250,000 New York at 1 ¼ miles on Belmont Park's inner turf.

Trained by Todd Beattie, two-time stakes winner Victim of Love headed into Saturday's test making just her second attempt in a graded event, having previously run second in the Grade 3 Runhappy Barbara Fritchie two starts back in February at Laurel Park.

Jakarta took command out of the gate as a heavy rain commenced at Belmont Park with Victim of Love, longest shot on the board at 27-1, urged into contention at her hip through an opening quarter mile in 22.47 seconds on the fast and harrowed main track.

Grade 1-winner Come Dancing, the 4-5 mutuel favorite, settled in fourth position in the early running as Jakarta continued to dictate the pace, posting a half-mile in 45.29 under constant pressure from Victim of Love.

Lezcano put Victim of Love to the lead late in the turn as Come Dancing launched a wide bid with Pacific Gale following suit. Come Dancing surged into contention but Victim of Love continued to find more as Hall of Fame rider Javier Castellano angled the favorite for an inside run to no avail. Confidently handled and much the best, Victim of Love made the grade by 1 ¾-lengths in a final time of 1:16.27.

Come Dancing held second by 4 ¼-lengths over Pacific Gale. Jakarta, Royal Charlotte and Chalon rounded out the order of finish. Mother Mother was scratched.

Lezcano said Victim of Love was engaged throughout.

"The trainer told me to break and try to keep her busy. She broke a little bit behind, but with a tap on the shoulder, she jumped right there on the bridle," said Lezcano. "When I asked her, she really took off. My filly kept going the whole way around and never stopped. She gave me everything she had."

Castellano, who guided Come Dancing to victory in the 2019 Grade 1 Ballerina at Saratoga, said he was pleased with his mare's effort.

"It was her second start of the year. I'm not disappointed. The horse on the lead was much the best today. I think that the track is playing a little bit to speed. The rain didn't bother her at all. I'm looking forward to a big race next time."

Victim of Love, a $160,000 Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase, captured the Island Fashion at Sunland Park last year and the What A Summer in January at Laurel Park. Out of the Grade 2-winning mare Spacy Tracy, Victim of Love is a full-sister to Grade 2-winner Benner Island.

Bred in Kentucky by Daniel J. Burke, Victim of Love banked $55,000 in victory while improving her record to 15-5-2-2. She paid $56 for a $2 win ticket.

Live racing resumes Sunday with a nine-race card headlined by the $100,000 Bouwerie, a seven-furlong sprint for New York-bred sophomore fillies in Race 8 at 5:04 p.m. Eastern. First post is 1:15 p.m.


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