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Kensei powers away impressively in Dwyer

ELMONT, N.Y. – Kensei, ridden by Edgar Prado and trained by Steve Asmussen, made a powerful move on the far turn en route to an impressive 3-1/4 length victory in the 92nd running of the Grade 2, $200,000 Dwyer at Belmont Park on Saturday, July 4. The three-year-old colt finished the 1-1/8 mile distance on Belmont’s main track in 1:40.47.

Warrior’s Reward, the heavy 4/5 favorite, ridden by Calvin Borel, had a slow start before rallying late to finish a well-beaten third, 2-1/4 lengths behind second-place Convocation.

Sent off by the bettors at odds of 6/1, Kensei paid $15.40 to win. The 3-year-old Mr. Greeley colt is owned by Jess Jackson’s Stonestreet Stables and Lance Robinson’s Gulf Coast Farms.

“Every step of the way, I was feeling very comfortable,” said Prado. “It felt good. It was a matter of time, and when I turned him loose, he responded. It’s very nice to ride this kind.”

“He was within himself, which I liked,” said Jackson, whose Stonestreet Stables also owns Preakness and Mother Goose winner Rachel Alexandra. “Saratoga is on our screen, but we have to look at other alternatives, as well. We have hard decisions but first we have to see how he comes out of the race. Curlin spoiled me; now these horses (Rachel Alexandra and Kensei) are spoiling me. I’m very delighted Kensei came along as he did. It’s all a question of hope, and who emerges is anyone’s guess.”

As expected, Just Ben set the early pace in the Dwyer, running a half-mile in 45.71. As they went around the far turn, Prado made his move on Kensei, who took the lead away from Just Ben at the top of the stretch, and never gave it back.

Convocation, ridden by Alan Garcia, made a strong move at the top of stretch, but never threatened the winner, finishing 3-1/4 lengths back in second. It was another 2-1/4 lengths back to third-place finisher Warrior’s Reward, who was followed by American Dance, Masala, Just Ben, and Sunday Sunrise completing the field.

“He broke badly and I couldn’t get him going,” said Borel of the heavily-favored Warrior’s Reward. “He was fine. The ground just broke out under him. It was bad luck. We’ll get them next time.”

 

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