SOUTH OZONE PARK, NY – Ten Strike Racing’s Black Stetson dug in gamely to wire the field in Saturday’s $100,000 Bridgetown Stakes at Aqueduct.
Breaking alertly under Junior Alvarado, Black Stetson ran hard early to take command and lead through splits of :22.03 and :44.56. With foes looming to his outside through the far turn, Black Stetson shook them off and drew off at the top of the stretch, then dug in gamely to hang on and win by a 1/2-length in a final time of 1:07.84 for the 6-furlong sprint over the outer track turf.
“I was talking to Kendrick (Carmouche, a jockey who’s previously ridden Black Stetson) three days ago and he said, ‘You’ll like him, he’s a fighter,'” Alvarado said. “I had that in the back of my mind. He broke good, I just wanted to be sure to put him on the lead where he can use his speed and be comfortable.”
Nootka Sound won a blanket finish for second by a nose over Coltandmississippi and the favored Ambassador Jim. The rest of the field came across as All Systems Go, Smooth B, and Barbarossa. Mentality was scratched.
Black Stetson’s win was his first career stakes score and improved his overall record to 5-2-1-0. The Juan Guerrero-trained 3-year-old gelded son of More Than Ready increased his career earnings to $99,028.
Black Stetson returned $38.60 to win, $15.80 to place, and $9.60 to show. Nootka Sound brought back $5.10 to place and $3.60 to show, while Coltandmississippi paid $5.20 to show.