To Honor and Serve rolled to a facile victory in Saturday’s Westchester Stakes (G2) at Belmont Park.
Sent off as the 3-5 favorite in his first start since taking the Grade 1 Cigar Mile Handicap last November at Aqueduct, the 4-year-old Bernardini colt took command at the head of the stretch and was never threatened as he simply toyed with his rivals. His winning time for the mile was 1:34.84 over a fast track.
“We’re always happy to see him come back off that long a layoff and run well,” said Hall of Famer Bill Mott, who trains To Honor and Serve for Charlotte Weber’s Live Oak Plantation of Florida. “You never know what to expect, sometimes. He’s been training well and we thought with a good effort he’d win the race, and he did. He looked good. He was kind of idling down a bit at the wire. He made a nice move around the turn to catch the leader and it looked like he was holding everybody off well enough.”
According to NYRA Press, To Honor and Serve will likely return to Grade 1 competition in a month, said Mott, with Belmont Park’s $750,000 Metropolitan Handicap on May 28 his next objective.
“That would be a goal for anybody, I suppose, for any part of the season,” he said. “That would be a big accomplishment if he could do that. So, we’re going to cross our fingers and hope he trains well coming into that. We would love to see him run well in there.”
–NYRA Press contributed to this report.
To Honor and Serve/NYRA Press