ELMONT, N.Y. -- As the field went around the far turn in the Sands Point Stakes on Monday at Belmont Park, Check the Label had nowhere to run. But once she found room in the stretch, her rivals had nowhere to hide.
Check the Label ($7.40), with a dramatic turn of foot, rocketed between rivals a furlong out and went on to win the Grade 2, $150,000 Sands Point by 1 1/2 lengths over the longshot Crescenda, with 2-1 favorite Negligee another 2 1/4 lengths back in third in the field of seven 3-year-old fillies.
Under jockey Ramon Dominguez, Check the Label completed 1 1/8 miles on firm turf in 1: 47.16 for her fourth win in 11 starts. Graham Motion trains Check the Label for her breeder, Brereton Jones.
Check the Label was always going well, but as the field went around the far turn, Dominguez found himself behind a wall of horses, and his first attempt to knife between horses at the top of the stretch proved fruitless. He had to tap on the brakes.
"At the three-eighths there was a little bit of concern, because I knew [pacesetters Ultimate Class and More Is Better] wouldn't necessarily keep going," Dominguez said, "and sure enough I found myself on heels, trying to find a way through.
"I had to check on heels, but she responded. I had to take a firm hold of her. But in two jumps she took off."
Check the Label won the Grade 3 Appalachian Stakes at Keeneland in her prior start.
"She's a really nice filly who's improving, too," Motion said. "I thought at the top of the stretch she might be in trouble, but she is good enough that was able to overcome it."