Affirmatif Triumphs In Woodlawn Stakes

BALTIMORE,MD  05-16-09 – Todd Pletcher-trained Affirmatif lived up to his 2-to-5 favoritism with a dominating victory in the 44th running of the $50,000 Woodlawn Stakes Saturday at Pimlico.

Owned by Wertheimer Farm LLC & Frere, the 3-year-old son of Unbridled’s Song stalked the early leaders under jockey John Velazquez before sweeping to the lead entering the homestretch and drew away to victory by 2 ¼ lengths. Affirmatif ran the one-mile distance over a firm turf course in 1:35.70 to win his second race in three career starts.

Lonely Whistle, a 34-1 long shot ridden by Craig Gibbs, rallied to finish second in his mount’s turf debut, a neck in front of early pacesetter Heros Image.

Affirmatif, who was bred by his owners in Kentucky, paid $2.80 to win.

Woodlawn Stakes Quotes

Todd Pletcher, winning trainer, Affirmatif – “It set up pretty well. We were a touch closer than we would have liked to be, but he’s still learning. If we can get him to settle a little bit, he’ll show a more explosive kick down the lane. I think he can get a mile-and-an-eighth, no problem.

John Velazquez, winning jockey, Affirmatif – “He got away very good. I wanted to get him up near the leaders. I got him to relax, and from then on, it was easy.”