Suburban Recap At Belmont
A FLAT-OUT WIN IN THE SUBURBAN
The 3-year-olds aren't the only inconsistent bunch racing this year -- the older-horse division also has its share of upsets. The latest of these was Flat Out, who won yesterday's Grade 2, $300,000 Suburban Handicap at Belmont Park by 6½ lengths at 13-1, the longest price in the field of six.
Rodman, favored at even-money after finishing fast for second in the Met Mile, went right to the front this time under Javier Castellano and set a moderate pace of 23.95 and 47.02 seconds, pressed by 8-1 Colizeo. Rodman still led at the top of the stretch, but Flat Out -- sixth last out in the Stephen Foster at Churchill Downs -- was coming like a shot under Alex Solis, who rode two pounds overweight at 117 while his opponents carried 115.
The excess poundage obviously did not matter as Flat Out, a 5-year-old son of Flatter, took command in the final furlong and ran away from them all, stepping the 1 miles in a scintillating 1:46.64.
"He's just a super horse," said Kentucky-based trainer Charles "Scooter" Dickey. "He suffered from a couple of quarter-cracks. We gave him time, waited on him, and today he paid us back."
Flat Out paid $29.20 keying a $138 exacta with Hymn Book along for second, a length ahead of Rodman in third.
by Ed Fountaine
Dominus lords it over rivals in Dwyer
The Steve Asmussen-trained DOMINUS (Smart Strike), who was just nailed late in his stakes debut in the April 30 Derby Trial S. (G3), made good next time out in Saturday's $150,000 Dwyer S. (G2) at Belmont Park. Effortlessly securing the early lead beneath Julien Leparoux, the 5-2 second choice never looked like being caught down the stretch this time, and comfortably held 4-5 favorite Adios Charlie (Indian Charlie) by 1 3/4 lengths at the wire. In so doing, Dominus solidified his status as an up-and-coming three-year-old who can make his presence felt in a muddled division.
"It was a very gratifying win for the whole team," said Asmussen, who engineered a graded stakes double with Kensei (Mr. Greeley) a few minutes later in the Salvator Mile (G3) at Monmouth. Both carried the colors of Stonestreet Stables, which owns Dominus in partnership with George Bolton and Spendthrift Farm.
"He's a special horse," Asmussen observed. "Hopefully this is just a stepping stone to big things. We had planned on running him a couple of weeks ago, but had a little issue with a foot and missed some time. He stepped up (today).
"It was a nice field, and he'll ship from here to Saratoga the next day or two. Obviously, with the three-year-old races that are left, we think we are in good shape. It's an extremely wide-open year."
Dominus was softened up by a pace duel at Churchill Downs last out, but endured no such complication here. After getting away with an opening quarter in :24 1/5, the dark bay ridgling continued to enjoy an uncontested lead through splits of :47 4/5 and 1:11 3/5. Adios Charlie, who actually broke on top before conceding the pacesetting role, was content to track in second. Harlan's Hello (Harlan's Holiday) and Tech Fall (Birdstone) came next, while Malibu Glow (Malibu Moon) and Cool Blue Red Hot (Harlan's Holiday) were settled at the back of the field for the first half-mile.
Entering the stretch, Dominus was still traveling well within himself as he kicked away, and his rivals began to chase in earnest. Adios Charlie tried to mount a challenge, but couldn't pose much of a threat to the front runner. Dominus kept on too strongly, reaching the mile in 1:35 1/5 and ultimately completing 1 1/16 miles on the fast track in a sharp 1:41 3/5. The winner returned $7.80, $3.30 and $2.70.
"Very nice," Leparoux recapped. "Looking on paper, it seemed like we were going to have some speed in there. I thought maybe we would sit behind it, but they kind of left me alone the first part and he relaxed well for me and finished up very nice. He's a very nice horse."
Adios Charlie had 1 3/4 lengths to spare over third-placer Cool Blue Red Hot. It was another half-length back to Tech Fall, who edged Malibu Glow by a neck for fourth, and Harlan's Hello brought up the rear. Rocking Out (Include) was scratched.
Dominus more than doubled his bankroll to $175,829 from his 4-2-2-0 line. He made his career debut at Belmont last September, recovering from a stumble at the start to finish second. Not seen again until March at Santa Anita, Dominus rolled to a 5 1/4-length maiden win going seven furlongs, and stepped up promptly to graded company for the Derby Trial. After prevailing in the pace battle and appearing the clear-cut winner in midstretch, he was caught in the final strides by the swooping Machen (Distorted Humor) on the far outside.
"It was nice for him to have a breakthrough race," co-owner Bolton said of the Dwyer. "He's only had four races and he's always shown such potential. My hunch is that he'll go to either the Jim Dandy ([G2] on July 30 at Saratoga) or the Haskell ([G1] on July 31 at Monmouth)."
Dominus, a $270,000 RNA as a yearling at Keeneland September, was bred by the late Edward P. Evans in Virginia. He is out of the multiple Grade 2-placed stakes heroine Cuando (Lord at War [Arg]), and his half-siblings include the stakes-placed Arcturus (Silver Deputy) and an unnamed juvenile colt by Malibu Moon.
Cuando is herself a half-sister to multiple Grade 1 star and $2.2 million-earner Honey Ryder (Lasting Approval). Cuando is also a full sister to Grade 3 winner Cuando Puede, the dam of multiple stakes scorer Spanish Mission (Coronado's Quest). This is the family of Grade 3 winners Dyna Da Wyna (Doc's Leader) and Leroy's Dynameaux (Leroidesanimaux [Brz]), and further back, Kentucky Oaks (G2) heroine Sun and Snow (*Hawaii).
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