Following the runner-up under the wire were the top three betting choices: second-choice Summer Front, third selection Cogito and 8-5 favorite Dullahan, with Shkspeare Shaliyah and Howe Great completing the order of finish.
Trained by Mike Maker, King David completed the 1 1/8 mile Jamaica in 1:52.91 over an inner turf course rated “good.”
“I assumed I probably would get a stalking trip, and we sat in a great spot,” said Napravnik, who one race earlier captured the Grade 1 Foxwoods Champagne with Shanghai Bobby and had three victories on the card overall. “I was able to save ground on the first turn. The turf is a little bit soft, so I took him to the outside. He just put in a very game effort.”
The victory was the sixth in seven starts this year for King David, a dark bay son of Hat Trick who did not break his maiden until May 25 in a $25,000 claiming race at Arlington Park. Two victories and one second-place finish later, King David travelled from Chicago to Saratoga Race Course, where he was claimed for $25,000 by trainer Nick Canani on August 13. A month later, trainer Mike Maker haltered King David for $35,000 out of a victory at Belmont on behalf of Scarlet Stable.
“Mike saw this horse at Saratoga, and lost a shake [to claim him] there, so he claimed him at Belmont,” said Maker’s assistant, Pearl Hagadorn. “He looks for an athlete that he thinks can improve with his program, and he’s brilliant at it.”
The second-longest shot on the board, King David returned $58 for a $2 win bet and earned back his purchase price almost seven-fold with the winner’s purse of $240,000. Overall, he is 6-1-0 from 11 starts.
“I said [last night to Ramon Dominguez], you know what? Mike does this all the time,” said Napravnik. “He’s very good at turning it around, turning horses over, and doing a great job with them, especially on the turf.’”