Pat On the Back's courage was on full display Memorial Day at Belmont Park when the 5-year-old son of Congrats defeated Giant Expectations by a nose after a stretch-long duel in the $200,000 Commentator S.
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Pat On the Back has now won eight races, seven of them stakes, and placed in eight additional added money events in his stellar career. His earnings now stand at $924,032 for owners Harold Lerner, AWC Stables and Nehoc Stables.
The one-mile Commentator featured seven older horses, with Pat On the Back and Giant Expectations the two favorites. Pat On the Back had a clean break and tracked the leaders through a quarter mile in :22.80. Giant Expectations got away very poorly, and was last early, but made up ground steadily to be just about on even terms with the eventual winner at the top of the stretch. That duo went head-to-head the rest of the way, with Pat On the Back getting the nod on the wire. The final time on the fast main track was 1:33.43.
“This was a tough race,” said winning trainer Jeremiah Englehart. “Giant Expectations stumbling at the start didn't help his chances and he ran his eyeballs out. When they linked up at the sixteenth pole, I knew our horse would dig in. It was just a great race out of him. This horse is just so special. He's all heart, all guts. Every time you ask him to go to bat, he's swinging.”
Pat On the Back, winner of his 2019 debut in the April 26 Affirmed Success S., was bred by Sugar Maple Farm. His dam Accomplished has produced eight runners, all winners, and is herself a sister to 10 winners.