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2011 Suburban Handicap and Dwyer Stakes

Alex Solis and Flat Out head to the winner's circle after the 2011 Suburban Handicap
Date: 07/02/2011

The feature race at Belmont Park on the Saturday of Independence Day weekend was the $300,000 Suburban Handicap (G2), featuring top older horses going 1 1/8 miles around one turn of the main track. Just 6,441 fans were on hand on a sunny afternoon with temperatures in the mid 80's. Rodman was sent off as the even-money favorite in the field of 6 off a second place finish in the Metropolitan Handicap (G1) after winning the Irish Tower Stakes. In to challenge him included 5-2 second choice Hymn Book, winner of the Three Coins Up Stakes last out, and 7-1 third choice Convocation, third in the Easy Goer after finishing second in the Westchester (G3).

Flat Out draws away in the stretch

Jockey Javier Castellano sent Rodman to the lead exiting the chute and he set easy fractions of 23.95, 47.02, and 1:10.65 while being stalked by 8-1 Colizeo a length behind. Entering the stretch, 13-1 longest shot Flat Out, fifth early, came out wide and took over the lead at the 3/16 pole through 1 mile in 1:34.65. Hymn Book, 3rd early, tried to close but Flat Out drew off in the final furlong to an impressive 6 1/2 length win in 1:46.64 over the fast track. It was just a length back from Hymn Book to favorite Rodman third.

Pgm  Horse            Jockey       Win  Place  Show
 5   Flat Out         Solis      29.20  11.80  4.60
 6   Hymn Book        Velazquez          4.50  3.00
 1   Rodman           Castellano               2.40

Winning Time:  1:46.64

$2 Exacta 5-6               138.00
$2 Trifecta 5-6-1           287.50
Results Chart

Left: Flat Out in the winner's circle. His trainer Charles Dickey said, "Today, he was laying perfect. The way he closed, that's him. He's just a super horse. He suffered from a couple of quarter-cracks. We gave him time, and waited on him, and today, he's paid us back. We've done everything we can right for him and he's responding real well and running good. I've tried to think of several reasons why he didn't run his normal race last time. He came out of it fine and he's better off running than standing in his stall. We'll talk it over and decide where we want to go. Our goal is to try and run in the Breeders' Cup."

Right: Flat Out returns after the race.

Left: Flat Out in the paddock before the race. His owner Jack Preston said, "He beat some good horses today. We won the Belmont Stakes with Victory Gallop; this is only the second time we've taken money from Belmont Park back to Texas. We've had faith in him the whole time; he's just had problems, one after the other. He's a super horse and we found out today how good he is."

Right: Flat Out in the post parade. His jockey Alex Solis said, "The other morning I went to get on him and I took him around there and he was having so much fun on the track. I told Mr. Dickey, 'This horse, he might run big because he really enjoys this track, the long turns and sandy footing.' He loves it, and he proved that today."

Left: Second place finisher Hymn Book in the post parade. His trainer Shug McGaughey said, "I thought he ran fine. Johnny (Velazquez) said he ran hard. At the 3/8 pole we had a lot of horse and they were picking it up, and then we just ran into a buzzsaw. We have options, turf or dirt."

Right: Third place finisher and beaten favorite Rodman returns after the race. The even-money favorite set the early pace under jockey Javier Castellano, then tired late to finish third beaten 7 1/2 lengths. The Mike Hushion trainee improved his record to 6 wins, 4 seconds, and 1 third in 16 starts, earning $376,152 for owner Barry K. Schwartz.

Dominus draws off in the stretch

Immediately before the Suburban, a field of 6 three-year-olds went 1 1/16 miles in the $150,000 Dwyer Stakes (G2). Jerome Stakes (G2) winner Adios Charlie was the 4-5 favorite off a close second in the Peter Pan (G2) last out. In to challenge him included 3-1 second choice Dominus, runner-up in the Derby Trial (G3), and 9-2 third choice Cool Blue Red Hot, making his stakes debut after an allowance win over the same distance last out.

Jockey Julien Leparoux sent Dominus to the lead down the backstretch and he set fractions of 24.28, 47.86, and 1:11.76 while as many as 1 1/2 lengths in front of Adios Charlie stalking him second. Entering the stretch, Dominus pulled away from the favorite, opening up by 3 lengths in mid-stretch. Adios Charlie attempted to close but Dominus cruised under the line 1 3/4 lengths ahead in 1:41.74. It was another 1 3/4 lengths back to late-running Cool Blue Red Hot third.

Pgm  Horse             Jockey       Win  Place  Show
 2   Dominus           Leparoux    7.80   3.30  2.70
 7   Adios Charlie     Maragh             2.40  2.10
 6   Cool Blue Red Hot Velazquez                2.30

Winning Time:  1:41.74

$2 Exacta 2-7                16.40
$2 Trifecta 2-7-6            45.20
Results Chart

Left: Dominus in the winner's circle with trainer Steve Asmussen. Asmussen said, "It was a very gratifying win for the whole team. He's a special horse. 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 3-year-old races that are left, we think we are in good shape. It's an extremely wide-open year." Co-owner George Bolton said, "It was nice for him to have a break-through race. He's only had 4 races and he's always shown such potential. My hunch is that he'll go to either the Jim Dandy or the Haskell."

Right: Dominus neads back to the barns. Winning jockey Julien Leparoux said, "Very nice. 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."

Left: Second place finishe and beaten favoriter Adios Charlie returns after the race. His trainer Stanley Hough said, "He ran his race; I don't see any excuses. I thought the winner ran great. We'll see how he comes out of this race and figure out where to go from here. There are so many opportunities for 3-year-olds." Jockey Rajiv Maragh added, "I thought he ran great. I tried to keep him in close proximity the whole way. He tried hard."

Right: Third place finisher Cool Blue Red Hot in the paddock before the race. His trainer Angel Penna Jr. said, "I'm very pleased with the race; he was the only one who made a move. This horse still has not yet reached his top." Jockey John Velazquez added, "He ran well. He was the only horse who was closing."

Hungry Island wins the Recording Stakes

Kicking off the stakes action on Saturday was the $60,000 Recording Stakes for 3-year-old fillies going 1 1/16 miles on the inner turf course. 4-1 Triune had an uncontested lead of 2 1/2 lengths through slow fractions of 25.37, 49.64, and 1:14.16 over the firm course while being stalked by 8-1 Skating. Entering the lane, the two front-runners tired as 15-1 My Redbyrd inherited a short lead in mid-stretch. 7-1 Hungry Island, last early, closed with a rush to win going away by 3 lengths in 1:43.59. It was just a length back from My Redbyrd to 6-1 Parting Words third, while 5-2 favorite Celestial Kitten was fourth.

Results Chart

Left: Hungry Island in the winner's circle. The 7-1 fifth choice was last 9 lengths off the pace under Alex Solis, came out 5 wide for the drive and rallied down the center of the course to win by 3 lengths. The Shug McGaughey trainee improved her record to 3 wins, 2 seconds, and 2 thirds in 7 starts, earning $126,980 for owner Emory A. Hamilton.

Right: Hungry Island returns after the race.

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