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2009 Belmont Stakes Undercard Part 2

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8 of 10

Munnings wins the 2009 Woody Stephens Stakes
Munnings wins the 2009 Woody Stephens Stakes

Munnings wins the 2009 Woody Stephens Stakes at Belmont Park

© Vanessa Ng
The $250,000 Woody Stephens Stakes (G2) featured a field of eight 3-year-olds sprinting 7 furlongs. Sunshine Millions Dash winner This Ones for Phil was sent off as the 9-5 favorite off two straight 2nd place finishes in the Swale at Gulfstream and the Withers and Aqueduct. In to challenge the Richard Dutrow Jr. trainee included 3-1 second choice Hull, undefeated in three lifetime starts including the Derby Trial last out, and 7-2 third choice Munnings, second in an allowance last time out after finishing 10th in last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

Triumphant Flight and Everyday Heroes hooked up soon after the start and contested the early lead through fractions of 22.32 and 45.01 with Hull sitting third a length behind. Entering the stretch, Triumphant Flight tired from the quick early pace, but Munnings, who bobbled at the start and moved up to fourth on the rail down the backstretch, found room between horses at the 3/16 pole and charged through to take over the lead in mid-stretch through 6f in 1:08.89. Munnings drew off in the final furlong to win by 5 1/4 lengths over Everyday Heroes in 1:20.63 over the fast track. It was just a head back to late-running Kensei third.
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