Sent off at 22-1, Forbidden Apple rallied from just off the pace to win the $210,000 Belmont Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) by 1 1/4 lengths Saturday at Belmont Park. Over soft turf, the 5-year-old son of Pleasant Colony completed the 1 1/8 miles in 1:51.73.The win was the second in a row in the race for trainer Christophe Clement and jockey Jose Santos, who teamed to win last year's renewal with With the Flow.
Val's Prince finished second, 1 3/4 lengths ahead of Altibr. Betting favorite White Heart came home fourth, followed by Weatherbird and Sardaukar. Forbidden Apple returned $45, $15.40, and $5.80 and topped an exacta worth $263.
The win was the first in a stakes race for Forbidden Apple, and his fifth career win from 16 starts. The Arthur Appleton homebred earned $126,000 for the win, his first since winning a Saratoga allowance race in July.
"I always thought he was a nice horse," Clement said. "He ran one of the best races of his life today because of the ground and the trip."
As for the favorite, trainer Neil Drysdale said, "It wasn't the pace (slow early fractions of :50.20 and 1:14.85). He couldn't handle the ground; I could see it down the backstretch." (Chart, Equibase