By Jenny Kellner
Owner Michael Dubb made three appearances in the winner’s circle, while trainers Linda Rice and Jason Servis both saddled two stakes winners and jockeys Jose and Irad Ortiz, Jr. each won two stakes on New York Showcase Day Monday at Belmont Park.
Lauren Evans and Ralph M. Evans’ Diversify wrapped up the afternoon’s stakes action, taking the lead coming out of the turn after stumbling at the start and holding off a determined late charge from Pat On the Back to take the $200,000 Commentator by a nose.
Stalking Mr. Buff and Jewel Can Disco through a quarter-mile in 22.57 and a half in 45.22, the gelded son of Bellamy Road moved up to collar the leaders approaching the quarter-pole and had enough left to turn back Pat On the Back and hit the wire in front in 1:34.34 for the mile.
“At the three-eighths pole, I went after them, and when he made the lead, he pricked his ears, so I knew he had something left in the tank,” said Ortiz. “The other horse [Pat On the Back] ran a very good race. Any other day, we would’ve won by ten.”