Forty Tales Best Late in the Woody Stephens
Forty Tales closed from well back in the field to get up in time to take the 29th running of the Grade 2, $400,000 Woody Stephens Stakes at Belmont Park Saturday.
With swift fractions set early in the seven-furlong race, the Todd Pletcher-trained Forty Tales came with a rush on the outside to outfinish fellow closer Declan’s Warrior, who had to shift course late. The final time was 1:22.47. Declan’s Warrior was three-quarters of a length back in second while it was a head back to Clearly Now and another head to race favorite Let Em Shine in fourth.
It was the second consecutive graded stakes victory and fourth win from six career starts for Forty Tales, owned by Perretti Racing Stable and bred in Kentucky by Randal Family Trust. He was ridden to victory by Joel Rosario.
Let Em Shine broke sharply from the outside post in the field of 11 and set a stiff pace, going 21.99, 44.73, and 1:09.21. He was pressured by Zee Bros and Clearly Now. Zee Bros challenged the frontrunner in mid-stretch, and looked to be the potential winner, but Forty Tales and Declan’s Warrior charged in tandem to the wire, with Forty Tales getting a clear outside lane and the victory.