Marianne and Brandon Chase’s Here Comes Ben wore down Hamazing Destiny in deep stretch to win the $65,386 Kelly’s Landing for sprinters by a neck before a “Downs After Dark” crowd of 26,330 on Friday night.
Friday’s attendance was the largest of the three “Downs After Dark” programs and increased the nightly average to 25,359. The final “Downs After Dark” program of the Spring Meet will be next Friday, July 2 with a “Boots, Brew & BBQ” patriotic/Americana theme. Two more night programs are scheduled for the Fall Meet, opening night Oct. 31 and Nov. 19.
Longshot Agastache led the field of seven through fractions of :23 and :45.59 with Hamazing Destiny in closest pursuit and Here Comes Ben racing in fifth place and in the clear under Alex Solis.
Hamazing Destiny, ridden by Miguel Mena, took over at the top of the stretch with Here Comes Ben still in fifth place. Under Solis, Here Comes Ben gradually closed ground on Hamazing Destiny, eventually surging to the front in the final 50 yards.
Here Comes Ben, a 4-year-old homebred son of Street Cry, ran the seven furlongs on a fast main track in 1:21.89. The victory, the third in three 2010 starts and fifth in 11 career starts, was worth $40,380 and increased Here Comes Ben’s bankroll to $204,872.
As the favorite, Here Comes Ben returned $3.40, $2.60 and $2.20. Hamazing Destiny paid $5.20 and $3.20 with Caixa Eletronica, ridden by Francisco Torres, finishing another 1 ½ lengths back in third and returning $4 to show. Completing the field in order were Booted, Agastache, Eye of the Leopard and Posse Cat.
Racing continues Saturday with an 11-race program beginning at 12:45 p.m. (all times EDT). Highlighting the card will be the 110th running of the $100,000-added Debutante (GIII) for 2-year-old fillies going six furlongs on the main track. The Debutante will be the 10th race with an approximate post time of 5:29 p.m.