Heavenhasmynikki Goes All The Way In Vagrancy

Ron Paolucci Racing’s Heavenhasmynikki was sent to the front and never looked back, holding off a hard-charging Pacific Gale by a neck to win her first career graded stakes in gate-to-wire fashion, capturing the Grade 3, $200,000 Vagrancy for fillies and mares 4-years-old and up Saturday at Belmont Park.

The opening race of the Man o’ War Racing Festival, featuring five total stakes, saw Heavenhasmynikki lead the five-horse field in the Vagrancy’s 69th running through an opening quarter-mile in 22.58 seconds and the half in 45.21 on the Belmont main track labeled fast.

Under jockey Kendrick Carmouche, Heavenhasmynikki maintained her advantage out of the turn, staying near the rail with three-quarters of a mile going in 1:08.65. Pacific Gale, under jockey Joe Bravo, was tipped out from second position on the inside and tried to overtake Heavenhasmynikki in deep stretch, but the Ohio-bred fended off the bid to complete 6 ½ furlongs in a 1:14.99 final time.

In winning her first graded stakes in six attempts, Heavenhasmynikki also gave trainer Robert Hess, Jr. his first career stakes win at Belmont.

“The wire came up in time,” Hess said. “It was a maiden stakes win for me at Belmont. I’ve won stakes races at Aqueduct, but never here before. To win with Ron Paolucci [owner] makes it extra special.

“I felt she had a pace advantage here,” he added. “I felt we needed every bit of that. She’s a nice filly. I think she’s on the improve and hopefully we can run her in New York the rest of the year.”

Off at 4-1, Heavenhasmynikki returned $10.40 on a $2 win bet. Bred by Langsem Farm, the 4-year-old Majestic Warrior filly won her Belmont debut, improving to 7-0-2 in 14 starts with career earnings of $374,980.

“She broke very sharp. She did everything perfect,” Carmouche said. “She held on to the race, I’m just glad I was a part of the team. The horse was running so easy and smooth. All you got to do is just get her to finish up and she did that. We held on, perfect story.”

Pacific Gale, trained by John Kimmel, has finished second in three of her last four starts, with each runner-up effort coming in a Grade 3. The 4-year-old daughter of Flat Out finished 2 ¼ lengths ahead of 6-5 favorite Separationofpowers, building off a second-place finish last out in the Distaff on April 5 at Aqueduct Racetrack.
“She ran her tail off. I take my hat off to the other horse [Heavenhasmynikki],” Bravo said. “She finished very strong. Belmont hasn’t been that fast and they sure made it look fast today.”

Dawn the Destroyer and the New York-bred Holiday Disguise completed the order of finish.

The post Heavenhasmynikki Goes All The Way In Vagrancy appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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