ELMONT, NY – It was a match race on paper and at the betting windows, but I Still Miss You was no match for Pure Silver, who never relinquished her early lead en route to taking Sunday’s $100,000 Lynbrook Stakes at Belmont Park.
Pure Silver and jockey John Velazquez led the small field of four through early fractions of :23.01 andd :46.82 while maintaining a 1-length lead over I Still Miss You.
Exiting the far turn, Velazquez remained motionless on the Todd Pletcher traineer while I Still Miss You and jockey Javier Castellano began to go to work. Once I Still Miss You began to gain ground, Pure Silver dug in and repelled her foe, crossing the line in 1:11.40 while 1 1/2 lengths in front. It was another 14 1/2 lengths back to One Last Cast, with Northernstreetgal a further 5 1/4 lengths in the rear. Missbigtimes was scratched.
“We just broke good and got to the lead,” Velazquez said. “I tried to save something for the end and she put in a good fight in the lane. She broke so fast, it was kind of weird. She was so fast, she was on the ground, and in the next step, she’s up and running. She got pressed, and when she had to put in a fight, she did it all the way.”
Pure Silver became the first stakes winner for her sire, Mission Impazible. The race was reminiscent of her debut effort on June 22 at Belmont Park when she and Velazquez wired a field of 10 fillies, including Missbigtimes. It was also the first stakes win of 2017 for owner/breeder Twin Creeks Racing Stables, LLC.
“After the last start, we knew she had the speed out of the gate, and she showed it again today and was able to hang on,” said Byron Hughes, assistant to Pletcher. “We will see how she comes out of the race, and from there, it will be somewhere at Saratoga, for sure.”
The defeat was the first in three career races for I Still Miss You, who like Pure Silver has shown a penchant for winning gate-to-finish. I Still Miss You won last month’s $150,000 Astoria Stakes, which came here on Big Sandy, along with her maiden-breaking debut.
“She was second best today,” said Castellano. “I had the opportunity to go and I just couldn’t get by the other filly today. She was much the best. She dictated the pace and we set good fractions. We were rolling.”
The Lynbrook, a race for 2-year-old New York-bred fillies covering 6 furlongs over the main track, was the final stakes race of the 2017 Belmont Spring/Summer meet.
Pure Silver returned $6.20 and $2.20, while I Still Miss You paid $2.10 to place. There was no show betting.