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ELMONT, NY – Nobody told Tommy Town Thoroughbreds’ Victim of Love that she was the longest shot on the board at 27/1, as she proved a definitive winner of Saturday’s $100,000 Vagrancy Handicap (G3) at Belmont Park.
Sent from post 6 under Jose Lezcano, Victim of Love closely tracked early leader Jakarta two-wide down the backstretch. Meeting the leader’s eye halfway through the far turn, Victim of Love emerged onto the front stretch with an advantage.
Running down the middle of the lane early opened a wide hole for the 4/5 favorite Come Dancing, who shot to the inside and momentarily loomed dangerous. Lezcano guided Victim of Love over toward the rail at the 1/16 pole and closed the gap on the bettors’ choice.
Trained by Todd Beattie, Victim of Love crossed 1 3/4 lengths the best in a final time of 1:16.27 for the 6 1/2-furlong sprint over a dirt track rated good.
“The trainer told me to break and try to keep her busy,” Lezcano said. “She broke a little bit behind, but with a tap on the shoulder, she jumped right there on the bridle. When I asked her, she really took off. My filly kept going the whole way around and never stopped. She gave me everything she had.”
Come Dancing’s somewhat erratic stretch run was not enough to win, though she was 4 1/4 lengths clear of Pacific Gale in third. Jakarta, Royal Charlotte, and Chalon completed the order of finish.
Mother Mother was scratched.
Victim of Love’s win was her first since taking the What A Summer Stakes at Laurel Park in mid-January and her third stakes overall. The 4-year-old Speightstown filly – purchased for $160,000 as a yearling – improved her overall record to 15-5-2-2 with $279,829 earned.
Victim of Love returned $56 to win, $12.20 to place, and $6.60 to show. Come Dancing brought back $3.30 to place and $2.80 to show, while Pacific Gale paid $4.80 to show.
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