Chief's Lake owns the first two races of the "OTB Big Apple Triple," but he got the second leg the hard way Saturday when he won by disqualification in the $163,000 New York Derby at Finger Lakes Race Track.
Chief's Lake, ridden by Channing Hill for trainer Steve Asmussen, finished the 1 1/1 6-mile race a nose behind front-running long shot Berry Bound (Joe Rocco up), who was set down to second by the stewards for bumping Chief's Lake several times in the stretch.
Chief's Lake paid $7.50, $4.70 and $3. Berry Bound returned $17.20 and $7.80. French Transition, the 7-5 favorite under Edgar Prado, finished sixth.
Chief's Lake, winner of the $131,000 Mike Lee Stakes at Belmont Park on June 24, is eligible for a $250,000 bonus if he wins the $150,000 Albany Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 22. No horse has swept the series for New York-bred 3-year-olds since it started in 1999.
Earlier, Cool Paradigm ($4.70) got the jump on favored Talking Treasure and scored a 3 1/4 -length victory in the $50,000 Niagara Stakes for 3-year-old New York-bred fillies. With John Grabowski aboard for trainer H. James Bond, she zipped 6 furlongs in 1:10.94.
Management said first-race post times on Fridays will continue at 12:35 p.m. through the end of August. It remains at 1:10 p.m. on other racing days.
'Lynx' wins Big M Pace
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Southwind Lynx ($13.20) and driver Tim Tetrick found room at the rail late in the stretch and charged through to win the $1 million Meadowlands Pace for 3-year-olds in a 1:49 1/5 mile.
"I just kept my patience and, thank God, it opened up late for me. . . . I was lucky I got through there," Tetrick said.
Earlier, favorite Donato Hanover ($2.60) easily won the $400,000 Stanley Dancer Memorial Trot for driver Ron Pierce in 1:54 2/5 . The champion 2-year-old male trotter of 2006 has won 11 in a row and is expected to be the favorite in the $1 million Hambletonian on Aug. 4.
Around the tracks
*Mark Fournier moved back atop the Fort Erie Race Track trainer standings when his Faced by the Cross ($6.40) won his career debut under jockey Roderick Dacosta in the fourth race.
The 3-year-old gelding owned by Bruno Schickedanz was Fournier's 15th winner of the meet, one more than Scott Fairlie.
Fournier has two runners -- Pretty Sunrise in the fourth race and Russian Hand in the seventh -- on today's Prince of Wales Stakes undercard.
Besides the $500,000 feature, the program includes two $50,000 stakes races -- the Ernie Samuel Memorial and the Daryl Wells Sr. Memorial -- over 5 furlongs of turf. First post is 1:05 p.m.
*Moon Catcher ($20.60) took the early lead along the rail and won the Delaware Oaks at Delaware Park. Trained by Tim Ritchey, Moon Catcher controlled the pace through most of the 1 1/1 6-miles and dug in late to hold off Winning Point by a head in the $505,600 race for 3-year-old fillies.
It was the fifth win in seven career starts for Moon Catcher, who increased her career earnings to $496,000. She covered the distance in 1:42.39.
"The speed had been holding all day, and Tim told me to get to the lead and try to slow the pace as best I could," jockey Carlos Marquez Jr. said. "I tried to keep the pace slow a little longer, but the other horses started to kick in."
*After finishing seventh in the Kentucky Derby and third in the Belmont Stakes, Tiago ($4) found a field of 3-year-olds he could beat in the $368,250 Swaps Stakes at Hollywood Park. He won by 2 1/2 lengths under Mike Smith while covering 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.76.
*Art Master ($8.30) rallied under Garrett Gomez to win the $112,600 Poker Handicap at Belmont Park. The 6-year-old posted the fifth win of his 10-race career and first North American graded stakes victory. He ran the grassy mile in 1:33.21 for trainer Bobby Frankel.
"I got shuffled back, but it didn't faze him, said Gomez.
*First Defence ($2.60) led wire to wire to capture the $150,000 Long Branch Breeders' Cup Stakes at Monmouth Park. The 3-year-old son of Unbridled's Song, trained by Frankel and ridden by Javier Castellano, covered 1 1/1 6 miles in 1:42.30.
*Eight $15,770 divisions of New York Sire Stakes races for 2-year-old filly pacers highlight the 13-race card at Buffalo Raceway today, starting at 1:05 p.m.
Away We Go, to be driven by Bruce Clarke in the eighth race, is the richest filly on the program with $10,000 in earnings.