ELMONT, NY – Mr. Amore Stable’s homebred Firenze Fire one-upped his stablemate Vision Perfect‘s earlier success by sweeping to the lead and running away with a fluorish to dominate Saturday’s Grade 3, $300,000 Dwyer Stakes at Belmont Park.
Breaking well from the far outside post 7 under Irad Ortiz, Jr., Firenze Fire sat off the early pace while Noble Indy and Mendelssohn raced heads apart through splits of :23.53 and :45.98. Heading into the far turn, Noble Indy began fading along the rail, giving the 3-2 favorite a chance to run freely. Behind him, though, Firenze Fire was beginning to put in a serious drive, and by the top of the stretch, he had in a flash collared and passed Mendelssohn. Continuing to run strongly, Firenze Fire drew off to win by 9 open lengths in a final time of 1:33.74 for the mile-long main track event.
“I got a perfect trip,” said Ortiz, Jr. “We got a good post and he broke sharp. He was ready today, it was a big performance. Coming in, I just wanted to ride my race. Let him settle at first and then let him finish. In preparation for the race, we worked with him to gallop out and finish strong. (The plan was) to relax early and finish strong, and it worked out good. I expected him to run a big race, but I didn’t think he would gallop out like that. I’m so happy to see the way he did it.”
After bobbling at the start, Seven Trumpets gathered himself and was able to edge a weakening Mendelssohn for second by a 1/2-length. Rugbyman faded to fourth after briefly attempting to challenge Mendelssohn in the far turn, while Mendelssohn’s stablemate Seahenge was never a factor and crossed in fifth. Fixedincome Larry took sixth, with Noble Indy out of gas in last.
Firenze Fire’s win was his first since the $150,000 Jerome Stakes at Aqueduct in January and had been competing on the Kentucky Derby trail all spring before taking a break following an 11th in the Run for the Roses. The 3-year-old son of Poseidon’s Warrior improved his overall record to 11-5-1-0 with career earnings of $834,100.
“That was great,” Servis said. “I’ve been dying to cut him back, just dying. We thought he’d run good. Now we’re getting him where he needs to be, a mile, 7/8, where he might even be a tad sharper. I mean, it all worked out. We’re all real happy.”
Firenze Fire returned $7.50 to win, $4.50 to place, and $3 to show. Seven Trumpets brought back $8.10 to place and $4.60 to show, while Mendelssohn paid $2.90 to show.