ELMONT, NY – Making his first start since finishing fifth in the Kentucky Derby, Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence’s Practical Joke drew away in the stretch for a solid victory in the Grade 3, $400,000 Dwyer on Saturday at Belmont Park.
Breaking from post 3 as the 3-5 post-time favorite with Joel Rosario aboard, Practical Joke stalked towards the rail in fourth position as even-money Battalion Runner led the field of five through fractions of :23.12 and :47.15.
As the field reached the 1/4 pole, Battalion Runner remained in front as Giuseppe the Great and Tale of Silence engaged the leader at the top of the stretch. Swinging out four-wide in full drive, Practical Joke swept past the three foes in front ahead of him, extending to the wire to win by 2 lengths.
“I had a good trip,” said Rosario. “There weren’t a lot of horses in the race, so I stayed inside for a bit. It looked like the 2 horse (Battalion Runner) was probably going to go, so I just kept an eye on him. He (Practical Joke) ran a big race today. He was the best horse in the race. He looked good and finished really strongly. That’s what we were hoping for.”
The Chad Brown-trained son of Into Mischeif boosted his career earnings to $1,315,800 and completed the mile distance in 1:35.16.
“The pace wasn’t that strong,” said Brown. “He really ran well today. I certainly think its the best race he’s ever won.”
Following 43-1 longshot Tale of Silence in second was Battalion Runner, Giuseppe the Great, and True Timber.
Practical Joke returned $3.50, $2.80, and $2.10. Tale of Silence brought back $12 and $4.10, while Battalion Runner paid $2.10 to show.