Holding firm on the lead, Captain Kirk turned away all challengers to pull a 16-1 upset in the $84,800 Geers Stakes at the Meadowlands Racetrack on Saturday (Aug. 1).
Driver Joe Bongiorno bolted Captain Kirk to the lead past a :26.4 first quarter and withstood a first-over challenge from Rogerthat Bluechip through the backstretch in a duel clocking a :54.2 half. Rogerthat Bluechip promptly gave way into the final turn, forcing Allywag Hanover to circle by and push uncovered towards Captain Kirk nearing three-quarters in 1:22.1.
Tall Dark Stranger, the 3-5 favourite from post 10, stalled three wide spinning into the stretch. Captain Kirk continued to fight on the lead through the stretch as Allywag Hanover dug in but finished second by three-quarter lengths in a 1:48.3 mile. Sandbetweenmytoes split horses late for third while Tall Dark Stranger settled for fourth.
Returning $35.60 to win, Captain Kirk won his second race from 13 starts, earning $138,472 for owners Brittany Farms LLC, Marvin Katz, Brad Grant and Captain Kirk Racing. Tony Alagna trains the son of Captaintreacherous.
Rocknificent capitalized off a pocket trip with a late rally in the $53,100 Geers split for pacing fillies.
Leading briefly past a :26.4 first quarter, Rocknificent yielded the lead the Peaky Sneaky moving to the backstretch. Alexiss Beach then came charging first over as the tempo slowed to a :55 half to race alongside Peaky Sneaky circling the final turn.
Baby Your The Best gapped cover from second over as the top three sped to three-quarters in 1:22, creating an opening for Rocknificent to swing from out of the pocket to the center of the track. Through the stretch Rocknificent rolled past the dueling leaders as Lady Lou darted up the pylons to challenge for the lead late. At the finish Rocknificent held a head in front of Lady Lou in a 1:49.1 mile with Peaky Sneaky finishing third and Alexiss Beach hitting the line with Baby Your The Best to dead heat for fourth.
Owned by Enviro Stables Ltd., South Mountain Stables and Little E LLC, Rocknificent won her second race from five starts this season and her seventh from 18 overall, earning $376,584. Scott Zeron drove the $5.40 winner for trainer Linda Toscano.