FARMINGTON, N.Y. –The two Gary Contessa-trainees dominated the 39th running of the $159,400 New York Derby at Finger Lakes Casino and Racetrack on Saturday. Socialsaul defeated stablemate Preachintothedevel by four and one-quarter lengths in the stake for New York-bred 3-year-olds.
The bay gelding owned by Samotowka Stables tracked a slow early pace set by Bristol Harbour. He wore down that rival and had plenty left to repel the challenge of Preachintothedevil. The $148,040 earner completed the one mile and one-sixteenth distance of the eighth race in a time of 1:44.09 under jockey John Grabowski.
“The connections told me to be John Grabowski and sit”, said Grabowski. “I was in the garden spot with a ton of horse underneath me.”
The six time leading jockey won the event for the third time in his career.
“I love to ride in this race”, said Grabowski. “To win it is always sweet.”
Socialsaul earned his third victory in his fourth lifetime start and paid $5.60, $2.70 and $2.30.
Preachintothedevil was a clear second and returned $2.40 and $2.10. Sky Music was third and paid $3.00.
Jeremias Flores registers his 1000th career victory
Earlier in the day, jockey Jeremias Flores notched his 1,000th career win. He guided Gold Ghost to a three and three-quarter length triumph in the sixth race to achieve the milestone.
Flores made 128 visits to the winners circle during the 1998 season to set a record. No other Finger Lakes apprentice rider has challenged that mark. He registered his first stakes win aboard Charioteer’s Wand in the Wine Country Handicap that same year.
Flores has earned 964 of his 1,000 career victories at Finger Lakes including his most notable win aboard Gold for the Queen in the $75,000 New York Oaks in 2009.
The 36-year-old from Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico is currently fourth in the 2011 Finger Lakes Jockey Standings with 38 victories.
Live racing continues at Finger Lakes every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Post time each day is 1:10 p.m., with the exception of Friday, which is a 12:35 start. The casino floor featuring nearly 1,200 slots is open 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m. daily. Admission and parking are always free.