NEW YORK — Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez won four races, including both $100,000 stakes on the Independence Day card at Belmont Park.
Velazquez was aboard as Comfort, the 2-1 second choice took the State Dinner by 3 1/4 lengths over 6-5 favorite Touchofstarquality.
Comfort, a 4-year-old trained by Todd Pletcher, ran the 1 1/16 miles in 1:40.76 for his fourth win in the past five starts.
He paid $6.40 to win.
Velazquez scored a 7-1 upset with Giant Run in the Manila for 3-year-olds on the turf.
The chestnut colt trained by Tom Albertrani improved to 3 for 10 with the 1 1/2-length victory over Strike Midnight.
Giant Run covered the mile in 1:32.85, paying $16 to win.
ARCADIA, Calif. — Lady Eli won the $300,000 Gamely Stakes for fillies and mares by a half-length at Santa Anita, ending a two-race skid as the heavy 3-5 favorite.
Ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., Lady Eli ran 1 1/8 miles on turf in 1:45.29 on Saturday.
Goodyearforroses was second, followed by Avenge, Mokat and Pretty Girl.
Lady Eli paid $3.20, $2.20 and $2.10. All but $18,388 of the total show pool of $315,505 was wagered on her in the Grade 1 race.
The 5-year-old dark brown mare has eight wins in 11 career starts and has never finished worse than second for New York-based trainer Chad Brown, who won the Preakness with Cloud Computing last weekend.
Lady Eli was coming off two close losses: by a nose in the Jenny Wiley Stakes at Keeneland in April and by a head in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf last November.
NEW YORK — Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming will skip the Belmont Stakes next month after finishing eighth in the Preakness.
Trainer Todd Pletcher says the 3-year-old colt will be pointed toward either the $600,000 Jim Dandy at Saratoga on July 29 or the $1 million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth on July 30, according to the Daily Racing Form.
Trainer Chad Brown says he will wait until after the Memorial Day weekend to announce where Preakness winner Cloud Computing will run next. However, it appears unlikely he will run in the Belmont.
The Belmont field is limited to 16 starters. Besides Classic Empire, who came in second at the Preakness Stakes, other horses expected to run are Conquest Mo Money, Japan-based Epicharis, Gormley, Irap, J Boys Echo, Lookin At Lee, Meantime, Multiple, Patch, Senior Investment, Tapwrit, True Timber and Twisted Tom. Other possibilities are Irish War Cry and Hollywood Handsome.