The crowd of 13,109 at Laurd yesterday had difficulty deciding on a favorite for the 330,350 Constellation Handicap.
Count Punch at 10 to 1 the longest price on the program was the early choice. Take The Pledge succeeded Counter Punch in the favorite's role and at one stage of the mari-mutuel proceedings five of the horses in the six-horse field were between 3 to 1 and 4 to 1 on the total board.
Eventually, some six minutes before post time, the bettors settled on Resound as their favorite and it turned out to be the correct choice. Resound led at the way under J. K. Adams through the 1 1/8 miles to sore by 3 3/4 lengths, returning $6.80 straight.
Gala Harry took second place. The 3-1 exacts paid $23.
"I knew when he got the early lead he'd win," trainer Tommy Field declared.
At one point, at the top of the stretch, many of the favorite players would have enjoyed being reassured. Counter Punch, Gala Harry and Togus all seemed set to challenge, a quarter-mile from the wire, only to lose ground steadily through the lane after having closed in on the leader around the turn.
"Resound pulled me to the lead and kept him there because there was no pace," Adams commented. "He fired when I asked him, rounding the turn."
The transferring of the Constellation from the turf course to the main strip was a resounding move in Resound's favor. The 5-year-old horse had the best dirt form of any runner entered, yet he was carrying 114 pounds under the weights (assigned for a grass contest).
Gala Harry carried 111 pounds and closed farily well to take second place from the 3-year-old Counter Punch, carrying 112. The martin was a half-length. Togus, the 121-pound highweight, finished fourth.
"I plan to run Resound one more time this year. Then I'll take him to Middleburg for the winter," Field said.
The victory was only the third for Resound in 22 outings this season, but the son of Gun Shot also has seven seconds and two thirds in his credit and the conquest in the Constellation pushed his year's earnings over $100,000 - to $112,167