Saturday, June 09, 2012
REDEEMED CRUSHES FIELD IN BROOKLYN HANDICAP; UPGRADE TAKES JAIPUR
ELMONT, N.Y. – Normally a stalker, Redeemed surprised 10 other runners by going right to the front and galloping around virtually unchallenged Friday to win the 124th running of the Grade 2, $200,000 Brooklyn Handicap at Belmont Park.
Ridden by Ramon Dominguez for Jay Em Ess Stable and trainer Richard Dutrow, Jr., the 4-year-old son of Include turned back a mild challenge from the 2009 Brooklyn winner Eldaafer and widened through the stretch to a 10-length victory.
Eldaafer, racing in his fourth straight Brooklyn to tie a record held by the great gelding Forego, held for second at 26-1, followed by Arthur’s Tale.
As a 3-year-old, Redeemed won five of seven starts, including the Grade 3 Discovery at Aqueduct and the $400,000 Oklahoma Derby.
“He’s been running with good horses, and he’s been showing up,” Dutrow said. “I don’t know what’s next in store for him, but we’re going to have to stay after the big races. I’ll have a talk with Ramon and see if he wants to go this far all the time; we’ll get the numbers, check things out, but we have a live horse, that’s for sure.”
Dominguez said he was very impressed.
“We don’t run these distances daily, but I couldn’t be any happier with how well he relaxed for me,” said Dominguez, the two-time defending Eclipse Award winner as the nation’s top jockey. “I felt like I definitely had horse.”
With the victory, Redeemed now has won seven of his 12 career starts and earned $712,140.
In the Grade 3, $150,000 Jaipur Stakes, the 5-year-old gelding Upgrade, from the lone crop of 2005 Horse of the Year Saint Liam, found an open path at the top of the lane and won the seven-furlong turf sprint by three-quarters of a length over 2011 Jaipur winner Right One.
Owned by Dennis Narlinger and ridden by John Velazquez, Upgrade won for the second time in two starts since being transferred into the barn of trainer Michelle Nihei.
“This horse has really deserved this from the day he walked into the barn,” said Nihei, who saddled Upgrade to a fifth-place finish in the two-turn Grade 3 Fort Marcy in his most recent start. “It’s been a little bit of a roller coaster with that last race. The stretch-out was a little bit too long for him.
“We’ll take a breath, come out of this race and look for something appealing at Saratoga and look for a path that looks obvious between now and [the Breeders’ Cup] in November. Mike Narlinger [the son of the owner] really wants to see him run 6 ½ furlongs down hill at Santa Anita in November.”
Upgrade ran the Jaipur in 1:21.25 seconds on a firm turf course and paid $12 for a $2 win bet as the 5-1 third choice in the field of six.
The victory, his fifth in 17 career starts, increased his lifetime earnings to $283,456.
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