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ELMONT, NY – Maggi Moss and Greg Tramontin’s No Parole took the field gate to wire with ease in Saturday’s $250,000 Woody Stephens Stakes Presented by Claiborne Farm (G1) at Belmont Park.
Breaking from the rail under Luis Saez at 3/1 odds, No Parole immediately went to the lead and raced uncontested as Meru gave closest chase through opening fractions of :22.31 and :45.01.
Midway through the far turn, Mischevious Alex ranged up alongside the leader, and Shoplifted soon followed suit even wider, but Saez remained chilly.
Straightening for home, No Parole responded sharply when asked, drawing off in the stretch to get home easily. The Tom Amoss trainee crossed 3 3/4 lengths well-clear in a final time of 1:21.41 for the 7-furlong fast main track sprint.
“He did it perfect,” Saez said. “(Speed) was the game plan. You always want to slow the pace as much as you can, and today, they gave me the opportunity, so we took it. I think it worked pretty good. He came out of the gate perfect and he put me in a perfect spot. We came to the 1/2-mile (pole) and I had a lot of horse. When we hit the stretch, he took off. I was sitting chilly and I knew I had a lot of horse. When everyone got close to him, he took off again.”
Echo Town was sluggish early but outkicked the rest of the field in the final furlong to secure second by 1 3/4 lengths over Shoplifted, while Mischevious Alex was a neck back in fourth. The 2/1 favorite Meru faded before completing the order of finish.
No Parole’s win was his second straight and fifth in his career, with his lone defeat coming in the Rebel Stakes (G2) two back. The Louisiana-bred 3-year-old Violence colt – purchased for $75,000 as a yearling – has now earned $295,366 to date.
No Parole returned $8.20 to win, $5.20 to place, and $3.50 to show. Echo Town brought back $5.20 to place and $3 to show, while Shoplifted paid $2.70 to show.
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