Waltzing Matilda winning the New York Stakes at Belmont ParkPICTURE: Jessie Holmes/EquiSport
Matilda waltzes home for Stack at Belmont
Report: USA, Friday
Belmont Park: New York Stakes (Grade 2) 1m2f, turf, 4yo+ f/m
WINNING for the first time since her career debut at Leopardstown in April last year, Irish-trained Waltzing Matilda (Tommy Stack/Junior Alvarado) recorded a shock 23-1 victory in the Grade 2 New York Stakes.
The four-year-old daughter of Danehill Dancer caught front-running Kitten's Queen late in the stretch to win by three-quarters of length over late-running Eastern Belle. The favourite Stephanie's Kitten suffered a wide trip throughout before running on for fourth.
"She did it well and Junior gave her a great ride," said Tommy Stack's son Fozzy. "The faster they went the better for us, but they didn't go that fast. She got a good break there off the lane. She's always gone well and Junior seemed to put her wherever he wanted in the race and it worked out good."
The rider added: "She broke good and was nice and relaxed in a very good position. As soon as I hit the three-eighths pole, I knew I had a ton of horse and started working my way through. Every time I asked her, she was there to help me. When we turned for home, I put her in the clear and that was it. She gave me all she has and we got it done.
"I came to see her three days ago and she did a little blowout here," Alvarado went on. "I watched all her replays from [Europe] and the way I saw it, she was kind of an easy filly to ride. She showed it in the race.
"She was nice to handle and when I asked her she was there for me. I was pretty confident."
Also on Friday
Belmont Park: True North Stakes (Grade 2) 6f, dirt, 4yo+
Hot favourite Rock Fall (Todd Pletcher/Javier Castellano) landed his fifth race on the bounce with a commanding victory as he scored by nearly four lengths on his Graded-stakes debut. He covered the 6f in 1m08.37s.