=== Hymn Book likes the slop to win Belmont Park stakes ===
 Elmont,  NY (Sports  Network)  -  A sloppy  racetrack  proved  to Hymn  Book's
 liking  Friday as the gelding cruised to victory in the $85,000 Frank "Pancho"
 Martin  Stakes  at Belmont Park. The  6-year-old covered the 1 1/16-miles on a
 sloppy track in 1:43.31.
 Ridden  by  Joel Rosario, Hymn  Book broke sharply from  the gate in the four-
 horse  field but was  taken back as the field went up the backstretch. Setting
 the pace was Xin Xu Lin with Rule running second and Small Town Talk in third.
 On  the final  turn, Rule, ridden by  John Velazquez, assumed the lead as Hymn
 Book  gained ground from the rear. Rule had the lead entering the stretch with
 Small Town Talk in second and Hymn Book on the outside joining the leaders.
 Trained  by Shug  McGaughey, Hymn  Book went  to the  lead in  mid-stretch and
 drove  to  a 5 3/4  length victory through the  rain. Small Town Talk finished
 second  followed  by Rule and  Xin Xu Lin. Scratched  from the race were Ponzi
 Scheme and Isn't He Perfect.
 Hymn  Book,  owned by Stuart Janney  III, notched his first win since claiming
 the  Donn  Handicap at Gulfstream Park  on Feb. 11. Friday's victory was worth
 $51,000  to  push the 6-year-old's  earnings to $792,687. Hymn Book registered
 his eighth career win in 20 starts.
 Racing  against  the top handicap  horses this  year, the gelding followed his
 Donn  Handicap win with a fourth in the Oaklawn Handicap, fifth in the Pimlico
 Special,  second to Mucho Macho Man in the Suburban and fourth in the Whitney.
 He  was coming  off an eighth-place result  in the Jockey Club Gold Cup behind
 Flat Out.
 Hymn  Book returned $3.50 and $2.30, and Small Town Talk paid $3.80 for place.
 There was no show wagering.
 10/19 14:57:23 ET

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