Eye Witness (City of Light) kept his win streak intact with a victory over the soaked turf at Belmont on Saturday afternoon in the Paradise Creek S.
After a debut third last fall against state bred company on the grass during the Belmont at the Big A meet, the bay colt went to the sidelines before coming back to his trainer's base at Turfway where he broke his maiden with a front-running score Jan. 1 by 1 3/4 lengths. Stepping up in class in the Animal Kingdom S. in Florence, he once again visited the winner's circle, this time after a 5 length-victory.
Off as the 5-2 co-second choice here, the Wesley Ward trainee was under a tight hold down the backstretch as a trio vied for the lead. Rounding the far turn, Eye Witness made his move to the outside, swept by them all and staved off a final push from Inflation Nation (Ire) (Speightstown) by a head at the wire.
“I didn't want to take the momentum away from him, and I felt like I probably moved a little sooner than I wanted to, but with the soft ground, sometimes if you stop the momentum, it's very hard to get it back,” Eye Witness's jockey, Jose Ortiz said. “I almost paid the price in the end, but I'm just glad we held on.”
Out of a female family which includes GII Swale S. hero Sharp Humor (Distorted Humor), the winner is a half-brother to SW More Mischief (Into Mischief). His dam is responsible for a 2-year-old filly by Practical Joke, who sold to Scott and Evan Dilworth for $220,000 at the '21 Fasig-Tipton Fall sale before she RND'd for $185,000 at the Fasig-Tipton New York Bred Yearling sale last year, and also a yearling filly by Game Winner.
PARADISE CREEK S., $150,000, Belmont, 5-20, 3yo, 7fT, 1:25.32,
1–EYE WITNESS, 120, c, 3, by City of Light
1st Dam: Gracilia, by Mr. Greeley
2nd Dam: Bellona, by Hansel
3rd Dam: Basoof, by Believe It
($235,000 Wlg '20 FTKNOV; $650,000 Ylg '21 KEESEP). O-Westerberg, Mrs. John Magnier, Jonathan Poulin, Derrick Smith and Michael B. Tabor; B-Anlyn Farms (NY); T-Wesley A. Ward; J-Jose L. Ortiz. $82,500. Lifetime Record: 4-3-0-1, $205,740. *1/2 to More Mischief (Into Mischief), SW, $255,493.
2–Inflation Nation (Ire), 118, c, 3, Speightstown–Urban Ball (Ire), by Galileo (Ire). (58,000gns Ylg '21 TATOCT; $100,000 2yo '22 OBSAPR). O-Louis Lazzinnaro LLC and Michael Dubb; B-Yeguada Centurion S.L. (IRE); T-Christophe Clement. $30,000.
3–Vacation Dance, 120, c, 3, The Lieutenant–Matinee Express, by Zensational. ($45,000 Ylg '21 EASOCT; $140,000 RNA 2yo '22 OBSMAR; $90,000 2yo '22 EASMAY). O-Sleeping Giant Stables, LLC, America's Pastime Stables and KimDon Racing, LLC; B-Harry Landry & James Hogan (NY); T-John C. Kimmel. $18,000.
Margins: HD, 5HF, 5 3/4. Odds: 2.85, 2.40, 12.30.
Also Ran: Hey Eugene, Joey Freshwater, Son of a Birch, Charging,
Devils Only Friend. Scratched: Golden Nugget.
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