ELMONT, N.Y., JUNE 6 -- The Triple Crown event overshadowed a fine program today at Belmont Park. Fiesta Gal, part of a favored three-filly entry trained by Wayne Lukas, rallied five wide into the stretch and went on to a two-length victory over Grecian Flight in the $255,400 Mother Goose Stakes.
Under Angel Cordero Jr., the 3-year-old daughter of Alleged was clocked in 1:50 1/5 for 1 1/8 miles, winning for the third time in only six career starts.
In the $84,450 Roseben Handicap, Groovy displayed the form that made him one of the nation's top sprinters last year. Unraced since November, the 11-to-10 favorite burst out of the gate from the No. 1 post, immediately outdistanced five rivals with a 44-second half-mile and won in a stakes-record 1:08 2/5 for six furlongs -- three-fifths of a second better than the mark set by Dave's Friend in 1980.
Even with a four-length lead in midstretch, Cordero gave Groovy a vigorous ride, and the 4-year-old colt had no trouble staving off Love That Mac and jockey Chris McCarron. King's Swan was third.
Polish Navy wasn't as successful in his return to racing. The 3-year-old colt, triumphant in the Cowdin and Champagne Stakes last year, wound up in a dead heat for second with High Brite in the $80,400 Riva Ridge Stakes. The winner, Jazzing Around, was positioned along the rail by Jose Santos, then shot into the lead at the top of the stretch en route to an eight-length victory in 1:22 2/5 for seven furlongs.
Graceful Darby won the $59,500 Tanya Stakes for fillies and mares on turf, and K.C.'s Best Turn ($44) was a surprise winner in the Colin Stakes for 3-year-olds.