NEW YORK (AP) Anchor Down splashed his way to a 6 3/4-length victory Saturday in the $150,000 Westchester Stakes at Belmont Park.
His first stakes win stamped him a contender for the $1.25 million Metropolitan Handicap on the Belmont Stakes undercard. The victory was the first of the year for Anchor Down, who is 4 for 13 overall.
The 5-year-old gray son of Tapit was sent straight to the lead by Jose Ortiz and rolled unchallenged to the finish line. He covered the mile in 1:35.10 over a muddy track. Ortiz says his horse ''exploded'' at the quarter pole and ''gave me everything he had.''
Trained by Todd Pletcher, Anchor Down paid $5.70, $3.70 and $3.90. Samraat was second, returning $7.50 and $7.10. Mylute paid $8.30 to show.