ELMONT, NY – Saturday’s Grade 3, $200,000 Westchester Stakes at Belmont Park was an all-out battle down the stretch but Tale of Silence was the best of the bunch.
The race began with Conquest Big E exploding to the front to grab the early pace, 4 1/2 lengths ahead of every other horse. He was followed by Cloud Computing and Tommy Macho, however, the pair sat well off the leader. Conquest Big E pushed the pace, setting early fractions of :22.91 and :45.92, yet before they even reached the second turn it was clear that he was beginning to fade. Around the turn, Tommy Macho was the first to pass Conquest Big E and Cloud Computing was quick to join him three-wide around the turn. By the start of the stretch, it was Cloud Computing and Tommy Macho on the lead with Conquest Big E fading to the rear.
Although it looked like it was at that point a two-horse race, the pair of Tommy Macho and Cloud Computing were bumping bodies as they dug in to get to the wire first. Meanwhile, two different horses, Tale of Silence and Vulcan’s Forge, Flew up on both sides of the front-running pair. At the wire, the four horses finished in a blanket photo finish. The victory was awarded to Tale of Silence who finished a nostril ahead of Vulcan’s Forge in second. Tommy Macho and Cloud Computing finished third and fourth respectively.
“In the last couple jumps, I thought I had it,” Davis said. “I did a little fist bump when I just got up. He knew what he had to do today.”
“He’s never had a bad problem or anything like that, but he likes this track,” trainer Barclay Tagg said. “He likes the big, wide turn. I don’t think he likes tight turns. One mile, one turn is his game, and this track is so big, he’s got a lot of freedom, he just doesn’t like tight turns, but he got it today.”
Tale of Silence returned $26.60 to win, $11.20 to place, and $5.20 to show. Vulcan’s Forge brought back $12.00 to place and $4.70 to show, while Tommy Macho paid $2.90 to show.
Scratched: Moe Trouble