NEW YORK — Heart to Heart led all the way Monday to win the $200,000 Knickerbocker Stakes on the turf at Belmont Park.
Irad Ortiz Jr. sent the 5-year-old right to the front and they enjoyed a comfortable lead most of the race. Heart to Heart sprinted clear at the top of the lane as Jay Gatsby, the 2-1 favorite, angled outside for his bid.
Heart to Heart dug in to prevail by a half length, his 10th win in 23 starts. It was his eighth stakes victory for trainer Brian Lynch.
“When you handicap the race there wasn’t a lot of speed in it, and if they left him alone he would be able to dictate his terms,” Lynch said.
The time was 1:50.62 for the 1 1/8 miles over the yielding course.
Heart to Heart paid $8.90, $4.20 and $3.10 as the 3-1 second choice.
Jay Gatsby returned $3.80 and $2.60 and Blacktype paid $3.50 to show.