(Hog Creek Hustle survives in the G1 Woody Stephens Stakes at Belmont Park on Saturday / Photo by Chelsea Durand & Courtesy of NYRA)

From the NYRA Media Team:

Something Special Racing’s Hog Creek Hustle overtook favorite Honest Mischief and pacesetter Strike Silver in the final furlong and outkicked a charging Nitrous by a neck to capture the 35th running of the seven-furlong Grade 1, $400,000 Woody Stephens presented by Mohegan Sun on Saturday at Belmont Park.

Off at 18-1, Hog Creek Hustle was the biggest longshot through the first eight races to win on Belmont Stakes Day, giving trainer Vickie Foley her first career Grade 1 victory and first graded stakes win since 2005.

After a steward’s inquiry ruled he did not interfere with Mind Control, Foley recorded her first graded stakes win since She Says It Best won the Grade 2 Darley Alcibiades 14 years ago.

Trainer Vickie Foley:

“I was nervous during the inquiry. We’re from Kentucky and came to the Big Apple, so I was a little nervous. It went our way and I think they [stewards] did the right thing,” Foley said. “This is my first Grade 1 win, and what a thrill. He was tough in the paddock, which he always is, and then with the inquiry, it was stressful. But I knew there would be blistering speed in this race, and I knew that’s what we needed. We were going for and hoping for the speed coming back to us. That’s why we thought we’d be perfect in this race and why we came. Corey gave him a good ride, too.”

Jockey Corey Lanerie:

Hog Creek Hustle returned $39.80 on a $2 win bet. The Overanalyze colt nearly doubled his career earnings to $440,100.

“He didn’t have any speed. I let him fall back and run his own race. When it was time to go I just went around everybody to where he could get some clean running room,” Lanerie said. “When I turned for home and tried to switch leads, I had no intention of coming over on [Mind Control], but he does that when you try to grab the right rein, he tries to run away from it. I was lucky that they left him up because he was the best horse, but he needs to learn how to stay straight.”

Jockey Ricardo Santana, Jr., rider of Nitrous (2nd):

“He ran good. That’s what we expected,” Santana, Jr. said. “He showed up today. I was happy with how he ran. He closed really well.”

Trainer Steve Asmussen, Nitrous (2nd):

Added Asmussen: “Our horse ran a good race. We were concerned about the way the racetrack has been playing today but he’s obviously a much better horse when he settles and then comes home. We’ll see where he goes from here. This was a good step forward for him.”