Ten Keys came from off the pace to win the $54,975 Humphrey S. Finney Stakes for Maryland-bred 3-year-olds yesterday at Laurel.
The former claiming horse was allowed to settle in stride early by jockey Mario Pino, then closed relentlessly to overtake the even-money favorite, Green Book, two strides from the wire and win by a neck.
"The break we got," said Pino, "was when I was able to split horses at the head of the stretch. If I had to go around, I wouldn't have won."
Ten Keys ran the 1 1/16 miles over a firm turf course in 1:43 1/5 and paid $9.60.
Jockey Vince Bracciale, who rode Green Book, said "No excuse. He ran good."
Ten Keys is owned by Charles Linhoss of Alexandria and is trained by Michael Pino, Mario's younger brother.
The crowd of 13,872 on hand to see the simulcasting of the Belmont was the largest of the meeting and the $356,593 wagered on the race was the largest ever in Maryland for a simulcast of the Belmont.
On the comparable day last year the handle was $1,939,712 at Laurel. Yesterday, the handle was $2,272,789.