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2009 Brooklyn Handicap and Hill Prince Stakes


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Eldaafer wins the 2009 Brooklyn Handicap
Eldaafer wins the 2009 Brooklyn Handicap

Eldaafer (outside) wins the 2009 Brooklyn Handicap over Nite Light at Belmont Park

© Cindy Pierson Dulay

June 5, 2009

On the Friday before the Belmont Stakes, only 3,563 fans were on hand due to the rainy, cool weather. The card included four stakes races, but because of the heavy rain the two scheduled to run on the turf were moved to the main track. Kicking off the stakes action on Belmont weekend was the $200,000 Brooklyn Handicap (G2) at 1 1/2 miles for older horses. Three Coins Up Stakes runner-up Rising Moon was sent off as the 8-5 favorite in the seven horse field. Delosvientos, winner of this race last year, was the 4-1 second choice over 9-2 Ea, second in the William Donald Schaefer at Pimlico last out.

6-1 Nite Light contested the early lead with 21-1 longest shot Fierce Wind and favorite Rising Moon through the first 6 furlongs in 24.74, 49.02, and 1:13.81. Entering the stretch, Fierce Wind dropped back and was eased through the stretch by jockey Kent Desormeaux, as Nite Light continued to lead through a mile in 1:39.57 and 1 1/4 miles in 2:04.61. 17-1 shot Eldaafer, sixth early, swung out wide into the stretch and closed with a rush to nail the pacesetter at the line by a nose in 2:31.58. It was another 2 1/2 lengths back to Rising Moon third. Fierce Wind and Delosvientos did not take to the muddy track and were both eased.
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