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ELMONT, NY – Commonwealth New Era Racing’s Aug Lutes rallied wide down the lane to upset Friday’s inaugural running of the $100,000 Glen Cove, a 7-furlong Widener turf sprint for sophomore fillies, at Belmont Park.
Trained by Michael Trombetta and patiently piloted by Jose Lezcano, the dark bay daughter of Midnight Lute made her turf debut a winning one while improving her ledger to 4 wins from 5 starts with an energetic stretch run to secure her first career stakes win.
Aug Lutes, off at odds of 19/1, broke inward and raced near the back of the pack as Caldee led the 11-horse field through splits of 22.53 seconds and 44.50 over the firm footing under pressure from the 3/2 mutuel favorite Bay Storm.
Caldee and Bay Storm continued their battle into the turn with Adelaide Miss rallying into contention outside of Invincible Gal. Bay Storm, the last-out Christiecat winner, took command at the top of the lane with Invincible Gal diving to the rail for racing room and Alwayz Late, Keeper of Time, and Aug Lutes rallying with intent.
But it was Aug Lutes, game to the wire, who persevered by 1 1/4-lengths over a stubborn Bay Storm in a final time of 1:20.23.
Trombetta, who now has 1,996 career wins, said he was pleased to see Aug Lutes perform well over the Belmont green after making her first 4 starts over synthetic surfaces.
“I guess it was time that we tried turf,” Trombetta said. “There were only so many synthetic options out there. Of the few 3-year-old races that are left, this race made the most sense with the distance. We really didn’t know how well she would handle the surface, but that appears to not be an issue.
“She didn’t get away real cleanly and they scooted right on away from her, but hat’s off to Jose, he rode great,” Trombetta added.
Lezcano said he tried to bide his time after an awkward start.
“She didn’t break that sharp, but she was very comfortable,” Lezcano said. “When I asked her, she was on the bridle and jumped up right away. From the half-mile pole to the wire, she took off really well like the good horse she is. There was plenty of speed in the race, so they got away from me pretty quickly in the beginning and I didn’t want to rush her.”
The lightly-raced Aug Lutes, a $70,000 OBS Spring Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training sale purchase, graduated last October on the Presque Isle Downs synthetic and completed her juvenile campaign with an optional-claiming score in November over the Tapeta surface at Woodbine Racetrack.
Aug Lutes made her seasonal debut a winning one off a 10-month layoff with an optional-claiming score against older company on September 1 at Presque Isle ahead of a closing second in the 7-furlong Duchess on September 25 at Woodbine.
Rounding out the order of finish were Keeper of Time, Invincible Gal, Alwayz Late, Miss Dracarys, Adelaide Miss, Por Que No, Honey Pants, Caldee, and Orbs Baby Girl.
Spirit of Bermuda flipped exiting the tunnel for the post parade, unseating rider Javier Castellano, and was scratched. Both Spirit of Bermuda and Castellano walked off under their own power.
Bred in Kentucky by Hinkle Farms, Aug Lutes banked $55,000 in victory while improving her record to 5-4-1-0. She paid $41.20 for a $2 win wager.
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