Ozone Park, NY (SportsNetwork.com) – America, ridden by Junior Alvarado, came
like a freight train down the stretch to capture the New Year’s Day $100,000
Affectionately Stakes for fillies and mares at Aqueduct.
Trained by Bill Mott for Bobby Flay, America was the 4-1 second choice behind
3-5 favorite Belle Gallantey in the eight-horse field with six betting
interests. The entry of Penwith and Divided Attention was the 4-1 co-second
pick for the 1 1/16-mile stakes.
America trailed through the early going as Penwith set the pace with Belle
Gallantey, winner of the Delaware Handicap and Beldame Invitational, pressing
the leader up the backstretch.
Coming off the final turn, Penwith was on the inside with Belle Gallantey,
Shayjolie and Simply Spectacular making up the first group of runners. America
was putting in her rally down the middle of the track.
Penwith had a clear lead at the top of the stretch as America began to draw
closer with Belle Gallantey fading along the rail. Penwith did her best to
hold off America but was unable to reach the wire first.
America nosed out Penwith for the victory with Divided Attention third and
Shayjolie fourth. Odds-on favorite Belle Gallantey was fifth followed by
Simply Spectacular, Agawa and Mylitta.
The time for the Affectionately was 1:44.68 on a fast track.
America, sired by 1992 Horse of the Year A. P. Indy, posted her third straight
win with the opening race of her 4-year-old season. The filly has won four of
13 career starts and the $60,000 boosts her lifetime earnings to $306,940.
As a 3-year-old, America raced in nothing but stakes but with little success.
She finished third in the Gulfstream Park Oaks and Mother Goose, and finally
found the winner’s circle in her last two starts of the year in a pair of
America returned $10.40, $3.90 and $3.30. Penwith paid $4.60 and $4.60, and
Divided Attention paid $4.60 and $4.60.