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ELMONT, NY – He Hate Me barreled down the middle of the stretch to take command in the final yards and win the 120th edition of the $150,000 Tremont for 2-year-olds at Belmont Park on Friday, the second of the three-day Belmont Stakes Racing Festival presented by NYRA Bets.
With Ricardo Santana, Jr., aboard, the bay son of Algorithms settled in midpack, running comfortably in fourth as Direct Dial and Salmanazar duked it out through opening fractions of :22.09 and :45.56. Once straightened away for home, He Hate Me hit his best stride in midstretch, grabbing the lead at the 1/16 pole and crossing the line 3 1/4 lengths in front of Direct Dial.
His winning time for the 5 1/2 furlongs was 1:04.47.
“This is a really nice horse,” said Santana, Jr., who scored his first stakes win in New York. “The first time he ran, he broke bad and he still won the race. He’s a class horse. Today, when he broke, he was closer than the last time. At the 3/8 (pole), I just tapped him on the shoulder, and then I just waited. Turning for home, I took him to the outside, and the second that he saw he was in the clear, he took off running again.”
The victory was the second in as many starts for He Hate Me, who is owned by Kevin Plank’s Sagamore Farm and trained by Horacio DePaz. He Hate Me broke his maiden two weeks ago at Pimlico Race Course.
“Obviously, this is kind of his style: to make a run,” said DePaz. “In his first race, he lost his marbles in the post parade; he was hollering. They loaded them in the gate. He broke, and he didn’t leave, which he’d never done in the morning. So that’s why we were bringing him back in two weeks. We’re hoping that running him will mature him, but once he’s running, he’s really professional. We got lucky today. We’ll probably go to Saratoga with him and try to keep him campaigning.”
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Direct Dial held off Admiral Jimmy by a nose for second, with Analyze Your Luck 1 1/4 lengths back in fourth. Completing the order of finish were Analyze the Odds, Presence of Mind, favored Salmanazar, and Wonder How.
He Hate Me returned $13.80, $6.40, and $3.80. Direct Dial brought back $3.60 and $2.80, while Admiral Jimmy paid $4.20 to show.
Trainer Horacio DePaz, He Hate Me: “I was hoping that he would break on top. It’s kind of a mirror image of what he ran last time.”
Jockey Ricardo Santana, Jr., He Hate Me: “I’ve never won a stakes race here at Belmont, so it’s very exciting to win my first. I am happy to be here.”
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