Owned by Richard Englander, Boston Common overcame a slight bobble at the start to quickly shoot to the lead, then took to the rail with jockey Jorge Chavez to set splits of :23 1/5; :46 1/5; and 1:10 4/5. He was home in 1:36, five lengths ahead of 20-1 Vinemaster. No Parole was third, followed by Dial A Hero, favored Puzzlement, Essayons and Rum Splasher.
"This is one of my dreams: to win a graded stakes in New York," said Englander, a stock trader and the Eclipse winner as the top owner of 2001.A 4-year-old son of Boston Harbor, Boston Common won the Jersey Shore (gr. III) at Monmouth in July, then ran a pair of seconds at Saratoga in the Amsterdam (gr. II) to Listen Here and the King's Bishop (gr. I) to Gygistar. In those races, he was on the lead for the first quarter of a mile no slower than :22 1/5.
"He's been getting some brutal paces and was putting some good horses away," said trainer Michael Pino. "I always wondered how tough this horse would be if he got a little bit of a breather. The question was getting the route."I have to give Rick (Englander) some credit. I was leaning toward running him in the Kentucky Cup Sprint, but he wanted to run here. By stretching him out, we hoped he would get a clear pace. He's got a short stride, and there was a question about him getting distance. This was definitely an easier group today. "That was a surprise," said Puzzlement's jockey Jean-Luc Samyn. "The only excuse I can make is that wasn't him. He's better than that. He had nothing."Boston Common won for the fifth time in 16 career starts and increased his career bankroll to more than $330,000. It was his first start at Belmont and his first win in three tries at one mile.He paid $6.70, $4.30 and $4. Vinemeister returned $13.40 and $9.40. No Parole paid $5.80 for the show. The exacta paid $100.(Chart, Equibase)