Precisionist charged past the filly Lady’s Secret in the stretch Saturday and won the $332,000 Woodward Stakes at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y.
Precisionist, ridden by Chris McCarron, stalked Lady’s Secret from the start, then took the lead with less than an eighth of a mile to go and drew off to a 4 3/4-length victory before a crowd of 21,142.
Lady’s Secret, ridden by Angel Cordero, finished 5 1/2 lengths ahead of Personal Flag, who was 5 3/4 lengths better than Lady Secret’s stablemate, Roo Art. Romancer finished last.
Precisionist carried top weight of 126 pounds over the 1 1/8 miles in 1:46, one-fifth of a second slower than the stakes record set by Forego in 1976.
Precisionist, owned by Fred W. Hooper, paid $4.40 and $2.40, while the Wayne Lukas-trained entry of Lady’s Secret and Roo Art returned $2.20. There was no show betting.
It was the second straight defeat in races against males for Lady’s Secret, who is owned by former San Diego Chargers owner Gene Klein.
It was the fourth victory in seven starts for the 5-year-old Precisionist, the 1985 sprint champion. He earned $199,200 to boost his career earnings to $2,579,210.
If Precisionist were to win the $500,000 Marlboro Cup on Sept. 13 and the $750,000 Jockey Gold Cup on Oct. 4, his owners would receive a $1-million bonus.
“I don’t know right now what I’m going to do (about those races),” Hooper said. “I need time to make up my mind. I’m going to have to think about it.”
Trainer Ross Fenstermaker said: “It’s up to Mr. Hooper. I don’t know if we’ll stay for the Marlboro or go back to California. We’re scheduled to leave on the 4th (of September), so we’ll wait and see what he says.
“The Marlboro is a lot of money, but if we run in the Marlboro it would be three races in a month, and that’s a lot.”
Favorites Smile and Queen Alexandra won Saturday’s stakes races at Arlington Park in Arlington Heights, Ill., Smile running away with the $75,000 Equipoise Mile Handicap by five lengths and Queen Alexandra taking the $100,000 Arlington Matron by a half-length in front of 19,212 fans.
Smile, ridden by Jacinto Vasquez and paying $4.60 to win, was timed in 1:34.
Taylor’s Special was second, two lengths ahead of Red Attack, and after that the order of finish in the seven-horse field was Party Leader, Something Cool, Innamorato and Midway Circle.
Clear Choice was scratched out of the Equipoise and will run instead in the $150,000 Secretariat Stakes at Arlington on Monday.
In the Matron, Queen Alexandra won her fifth straight, running 1 1/8 miles in 1:48 2/5 under Don Brumfield. Second went to Mr. T.'s Tune, who was 2 1/2 lengths ahead of Bessarabian. Oriental, Zenobia Empress and Peaceful River rounded out the field. Zenobia Empress went off the co-favorite with Queen Alexandra, who paid $5.80 to win.