With jockey Alan Garcia in the irons, Gitchee Goomie was content to linger near the rear as Risky Rachel took the field of seven through a half-mile in 50.64 seconds and three-quarters in 1:15.19. Angled to the outside as they turned for home, Gitchee Goomie hit her best stride in midstretch to take command with a furlong to go and hold off a late bid from Hessonite to win by a half-length – the same margin of victory as in last year’s Mount Vernon.
Her winning time for the mile over a “good” turf course was 1:38.64.
The 6-5 favorite, Gitchee Goomie returned $4.50 for a $2 win bet as she improved her lifetime record to 6-9-1 from 18 starts. Owned by Patsy C. Symons, she earned $75,000 for her victory and has now amassed a bankroll of $598,020.
“I’d love to get a graded win under her belt,” said Violette. “She’s Grade 1 stakes-placed [third in the 2010 Garden City] and I’d love to win a Grade 2 or 3 with her. We might even give up a dance here just to point to something. She’s awfully fun.”
Compliance Officer, last year’s New York-bred male turf champion, picked up right where he left off in 2011, settling in just behind longshot Writingonthewall as he led through a half in 48.55 and three-quarters in 1:13.30, then moving up steadily on the turn and rolling through the stretch to post a three-quarter length victory over Lubash.
His time for the mile was 1:37.11 under jockey Javier Castellano.
It was the seventh victory in the last eight starts for Compliance Officer, who rebounded from an 11th-place finish in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Mile to win the Claiming Crown Emerald Stakes at the Fair Grounds on December 3, his most recent start before the Kingston.
“It was a little stressful because you never really know how they’ll come back,” said trainer Bruce Brown of the 6-year-old LaMarca Stable color-bearer, claimed for $25,000 just over a year ago. “You think he’s doing really well, but until you actually get him out there and in the heat of battle, you’re not really sure what’s going to happen. But he picked up right where he left off and he should only get better from here on in.”
The even-money favorite, Compliance Officer paid $4.30 for a $2 win wager and took home $75,000 to boost his lifetime earnings to $539,566. Overall, he is 11-4-2 from 25 career starts.
Dominguez, who finished second in the Mount Vernon (race 5) aboard Hessonite and third in the Kingston (race 7) on Street Game, extended his lead in the Belmont spring/summer jockey standings over Javier Castellano, 32-23, as he won four races on the card, including three straight.
After finishing last in race 1, Dominguez commenced his own Pick 3 ($40.60) by taking race 2 aboard Wildcat Frankie ($3.00), race 3 with Arc Above ($7.20) and race 4 on Isn’t He Perfect ($7.00). Third in race 6 with Deflate the Bubble, Dominguez capped his afternoon by by bringing home Lisini ($19.20) in race 8.
The two-time reigning Eclipse champion jockey, Dominguez is the leading rider on The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) circuit in 2012 with 115 wins.