Take the Stand Captures Muniz Memorial

Earle Mack, Wachtel Stable, and Brous Stable’s Argentine-bred Take the Stand took the lead from the break and never looked back en route to a 1 1/4-length victory in the $300,000 Muniz Memorial Stakes (GIIT) at Fair Grounds on Saturday.

Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, the 5-year-old son of Not For Sale paid $18, $9.60 and $7 at odds of 8-1 under jockey Edgar Prado. Runner-up World Approval closed out the $93.20 exacta at odds of 3-1 and paid $4.60 and $4, while 6-1 chance Closing Bell, who was another 1 1/2 lengths behind the runner-up, was good for $5.40. The trifecta returned $362.

Favorite and defending champion Chocolate Ride was fourth and was followed by Potomac River, Roman Approval, Amigo, String King, Blarp and ChangeofCommand. Can’thelpbelieving was scratched.

Take the Stand, a group 3 winner on grass in Argentina, led the Muniz field through splits of :23.54, :47.59 and 1:10.98 for six furlongs, held on to a 3 1/2-length lead past a mile in 1:35.38 and easily turned back the charge from World Approval to stop the clock over a firm turf course in record time of 1:47.80, lowering the mark of 1:48.18 set by Chocolate Ride in the same race a year ago.