Beat Hollow winner of the $400,000 Manhattan Handicap, the other Grade 1 race on the card besides the Belmont Stakes.
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The Belmont Stakes was not the only important race run at Belmont Park on Saturday. Some high quality stakes races were also carded that afternoon, adding to the prestige of this important racing day. Many of the horses that raced on the undercard may be on their way to the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Arlington in the fall and ultimately to Eclipse Awards in their respective categories.
In the Grade 1 Manhattan Handicap for the older turf horses, Juddmonte Farms entrant and the 8-5 favorite Beat Hollow did not disappoint, taking the 1 1/4 mile event in wire to wire fashion in a time of 2:01.29 over a course rated good. Second choice With Anticipation lacked a rally late as jockey Pat Day lost his whip at the top of the stretch, resulting in a fourth place finish. Winning trainer Bobby Frankel said, "I told Alex (Solis) to put him on the lead. He relaxed well and had plenty left for the finish. I think he would have won even if he didn't have an easy lead. He's a very good turf horse."
The Grade 2 Riva Ridge Breeders' Cup at seven furlongs is for 3-year-olds who couldn't stretch out to Triple Crown distances. 4-1 second choice Gygistar stalked the pace saving ground until the stretch when Pat Day asked him for his run and he responded, drawing off to win by 4 1/2 lengths, in a time of 1:22.61 over the fast main track. Favored Yankee Gentleman tired at the 1/8 pole having gone three wide on the turn. Winning jockey Day said, "He broke well. He carried me right into the race. He rated nicely down the backstretch. And we tracked the leaders to the head of the stretch in hand. He ran right by [Yankee Gentleman] and from there it was pretty much a cakewalk."
The Grade 2 True North Handicap features the sprinting division. Lukewarm 2-1 favorite Explicit stalked the pace for the first half mile and then, collaring early pacesetter Yonaguska, took the lead and held off the late-running Entepreneur for a 1 length win, completing the 6 furlong event in 1:09.98. 3-1 second choice Summer Note reared up at the start and, having been outrun early, didn't have anything left for the end. Winning jockey Lonnie Meche said, "We were able to stay three or four lengths off the fence. That was where I wanted to be. When he
pricked his ears at the eighth pole, I knew he had another gear." Trainer Ian Jory said he will start next in the Forego at Saratoga and ultimately in the Breeders' Cup Sprint.
The Grade 3 Just A Game Breeders' Cup Handicap is for the distaff turf milers. 3-1 second choice Babae stalked the longshot Penny Marie early on, and then took over at the quarter pole as the latter would fade to last place. Babae was 2 lengths clear in mid-stretch but just held off the late rush of favored Tates Creek to win by a neck in 1:34.57. Winning trainer Frank Alexander said, "I thought she would be on the lead, but stalking is really her best style. She was really well relaxed going down the backside. I knew once she got the lead,
she was going to be tough to beat. That was a real, gutsy stretch run."
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