NEW YORK (AP) Obviously was the decisive pacesetting winner Saturday in the $300,000 Poker Stakes on the turf at Belmont Park.
The 8-year-old gelding bred in Ireland and trained by Philip D'Amato was making his first start since finishing second by a neck in February in the Arcadia Stakes at Santa Anita.
The freshening, and the shift from the West Coast, carried Obviously to his first win since the 2014 Shoemaker Mile.
Jose Lezcano put Obviously immediately on the lead and the veteran took it from there. He beat Force the Pass by 3 3/4 lengths for his 12th win in 27 starts.
The time was 1:31.65, only 0.02 slower than the stakes and course record set by Elusive Quality in 1998.
''This horse is a freak,'' said Lezcano. ''He's something else.''
Obviously paid $6.60, $4.10 and $3. Force the Pass returned $6.30 and $3.50, and Offering Plan paid $3.90 to show.