Clearly Now sets track record in Belmont Sprint
NEW YORK (AP) Mr Speaker pulled a 23-1 upset Saturday in the $1.25 million Belmont Derby Invitational for 3-year-olds on the turf.
The Belmont Derby, formerly known as the Jamaica Handicap during the fall meet, was the richest of five stakes on the inaugural ''Stars and Stripes Day'' at Belmont Park.
The Belmont Derby drew an international field but it the locally based Mr Speaker that took the prize. Mr Speaker made a bold run up the rail to edge Adelaide, based in Ireland, by a neck.
Jose Lezcano was aboard for trainer Shug McGaughey as Mr Speaker got his fourth victory in nine stars, paying $49 to win. The time was 2:01.18 for the 1 1/4 miles on the course rated good.
It was a strong bounce-back effort for Mr Speaker following a fifth-place finish in the Pennine Ridge Stakes here in late May.
''We changed our game plan,'' McGaughey said. ''I wanted him back and Jose rode a great race.''
Lezcano had a banner day, winning three stakes including the $500,000 Suburban Handicap with Zivo, another long shot.
The trip echoed the Belmont Derby as Zivo rallied up the fence to beat Moreno by three lengths. Zivo, 13-1, paid $29.40 to win. Zivo, a 5-year-old New York bred trained by Chad Brown, got his ninth win in 15 starts. The time was 2:00.43 for the 1 1/4 miles.
Lezcano was part of history as Clearly Now won the $400,000 Belmont Sprint Championship beating Palace by 6 1/4 lengths in record time.
The 4-year-old trained by Brian Lynch ran seven furlongs in 1:19.96 on the fast track, erasing the mark of 1:20.17 set by Left Bank in 2002.
Clearly Now got his fifth win in 15 starts, paying $6.40 to win.
Minorette rallied to beat Sea Queen by two lengths in the $1 million Belmont Oaks Invitational for 3-year-old fillies on the turf for Brown's second stakes win of the day. Joel Rosario was aboard as Minorette paid $14.60 for her second win in seven starts. The time was 2:01.64 for 1 1/4 miles
Kid Cruz beat stablemate Captain Serious by three-quarters of a length in the $200,000 Dwyer Stakes for 3-year-olds. Kid Cruz, trained by Linda Rice and ridden by Irad Ortiz, Jr., got his fifth win in eight starts. The entry returned $3.40 to win. The time was 1:41.12 for 1 1/16 miles.