Congrats' Pat on the Back kicked off his 2019 campaign in style with a stirring come-from-behind victory in the $100,000 Affirmed Success S. on Friday afternoon at Belmont Park.
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The 5-year-old now has six stakes wins and eight stakes placings on his resume, and is a rare horse who has scored a stakes win in four consecutive years. Owned by Harold Lerner, AWC Stables and Nehoc Stables, his record now stands at 7-4-4 in 23 races, with earnings of $814,032.
After getting bumped at the start, Pat on the Back settled well off the lead in the six furlong affair for older horses. After the pacesetters rolled through a half-mile in :44.92, Pat on the Back began to cut into his eight-length deficit. Closing resolutely, he dove to the inside and made a final surge to win by 1 1/4-lengths in 1:10.75 on a sloppy racetrack.
"I didn't want to lose too much ground from the pack, but from that position I had to stay on him most of the race," said winning jockey Dylan Davis. "There was a point where the rail was okay. It wasn't my first choice. I wanted to come off of it, but that was my only option to not stop his momentum."
Congrats has already accounted for four stakes horses this year, including Holy Bull S. (G2) winner Harvey Wallbanger. Pat On the Back is the last listed produce for his dam Accomplished, whose daughter Sarah Accomplished is responsible for Baydar, recently second in the Neon Desert H. at Sunland Park.