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Big Apple Showcase Day: Empire Dreams wins Commentator Stakes at Belmont Park


NEW YORK — Empire Dreams won the $200,000 Commentator Stakes, one of six stakes for New York breds comprising Big Apple Showcase Day on Monday at Belmont Park.

A 4-year-old gelding trained by Tom Albertrani, Empire Dreams rallied from fifth to beat Readthebyline by three quarters of a length for his fourth win in 13 starts. The time was 1:35.42 for the mile on the fast track. He paid $10.20 to win.

In the companion $200,000 main-track event for older runners, Sheriffa led all the way for a 9-1 upset in the Critical Eye for fillies and mares. The 4-year-old trained by Linda Rice and ridden by Jose Ortiz got her third win in the past four starts, beating Saythreehailmary's by 2 1/4 lengths. She ran the mile in 1:37.32, paying $20.40 in her stakes debut.

In the other $125,000 stakes:

— Lubash finally prevailed in the Kingston, his first win in five attempts in the turf stakes. The 8-year-old trained by Christophe Clement and ridden by Junior Alvarado got his 13th win in 41 starts, beating defending champion Kharafa by a length. He paid $10.20. The mile went in 1:33.07.

Clement recently became the 15th trainer to top $100 million in career purse earnings.

— Invading Humor rallied up the rail to score a two-length victory over Mah Jong Madness in the Mount Vernon for fillies and mares on the turf. The 5-year-old ridden by Rajiv Maragh covered the mile in a swift 1:32.87, paying $9 to win. It was career victory No. 1,998 for trainer Bruce Levine.

— Ostrolenka improved to 4 for 4 at Belmont, taking the Mike Lee for 3-year-olds by two lengths over Good Luck Gus. John Velazquez was in the saddle for trainer Todd Pletcher as the colt ran the seven furlongs in 1:23.65. The 7-5 favorite returned $4.90 to win.

— Quezon came from far back to capture the Bouwerie for 3-year-old fillies by 3 1/4 lengths over Lakeside Sunset with Manny Franco riding for trainer Bobby Ribaudo. It was the season debut for Quezon who is 3 for 4. She ran the seven furlongs in 1:23.17, paying $6.50 as the 2-1 favorite.

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