The 5-year-old gelded son of Slew Gin Fizz, winless in six starts dating back to June 30, 2007, picked the right time to wake up as he came from last and rolled on to a 3¼-length victory over Stud Muffin in the 58th running of the Grade 3, $110,500 Stuyvesant Handicap.
So emphatic was his win, his first since taking the Grade 2 Cornhusker at Prairie Meadows last year, that jockey Channing Hill eased up on him as he approached the wire. He still covered the muddy nine furlongs in 1:51.11.
Hill was unhurried with his mount, as Temporary Saint, Brilliant Son and the favored Argentina-bred Solar Flare took to the lead. Rain was off and on all day, and the wind pushed the field around the far turn after fractions of 24.16, 47.43 and 1:11.49.
On the turn, both Dry Martini and Stud Muffin began to rally, but Dry Martini kicked away for his seventh victory in 20 starts.
“I’m very pleased,” Turner said, as Dry Martini returned $10.20 as the third choice of 3,013 on-track fans who braved the rain and a day-long fog cover. “This horse has been coming along steadily. The last race on the grass, well, he just got a little too far out of it. The race set up just as we had hoped. He had to make up ground, quite a bit of ground, but the jockey was easing up on him at the wire. ”
Temporary Saint nosed Ravel, who wore blinkers in this race, for the show, and it was a neck back to Brilliant Son, who raced without blinkers. Solar Flare was last, while Phil the Power and Helsinki were scratched.
STUYVESANT HANDICAP QUOTES
Winning trainer Billy Turner of Dry Martini (No. 8): “I’m very pleased. This horse has been coming along steadily. The last race on the grass, well, he just got a little too far out of it. The race set up just as we had hoped. He had to make up ground, quite a bit of ground, but the jockey was easing up on him at the wire. ”
Winning jockey Channing Hill: “The race set up perfect for us. The horse really showed up today. I have to give credit to Mr. (Billy) Turner and the owners. He was a little unlucky lately; he was second to that good Godolphin horse [Formal Decree]. He really ran his race today.”