Trappe Shot , a 4-year-old colt by Tapit , cut the corner quickly at Belmont Park and turned the True North Handicap (gr. II) into a laugher, winning by 8 1/2 lengths. The Florida-bred covered the six furlongs over the muddy Belmont strip in a snappy 1:08.86 (VIDEO).
Khan of Khans fired first out of the gate and set the opening quarter-mile fraction of :22.79. Hot on his heels was Calibrachoa, and they were followed by Trappe Shot and This Ones for Phil. D' Funnybone , entrymate with This Ones for Phil, missed the break.
As the field rounded the bend, jockey Maylan Studart and Khan of Khans left a hole on the rail and John Velazquez and Trappe Shot took advantage, squeezing through as the field turned for home after a half mile in :45.43.
Trappe Shot battled briefly with This Ones for Phil, but after hitting the furlong pole in :56.91, lengthened his advantage down the stretch. This Ones for Phil held second by a neck over Calibrachoa, who had a neck on D’Funnybone.
“It was a perfect trip," Velazquez said. "He broke well enough and got a good position. When I squeezed him around the quarter-pole, he responded.”
Trappe Shot, trained by Kiaran McLaughlin for Nicholas Brady's Mill House, paid $4.60, $2.80, and $2.20 as the favorite. This Ones for Phil (as part of the entry) paid $2.60 and $2.10, and Calibrachoa paid $2.50 to show. The exacta (3-1) returned $9.30.
“That’s a wow. Two wows in a row," McLaughlin said.
Bred by Hobeau Farm, Trappe Shot is out of the Private Account mare Shopping. Shopping, bred by Arthur Hancock III, won three of 10 starts. The True North winner is the 10th foal out of the mare and fourth stakes winner. Trappe Shot is a half brother to grade I winner Miss Shop and listed stakes winners Bought in Dixie and Shop Again.
As part of the Hobeau Farm dispersal, Trappe Shot brought $850,000 as a 2-year-old at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale in May 2009. Stephen M. Young, agent, signed the ticket.
Trappe Shot tried longer distances last year at 3, winning the 1 1/16-mile Long Branch Stakes at Monmouth Park and was second behind eventual champion Lookin At Lucky in the Haskell Invitational Stakes (gr. I). His sophomore finale was a ninth-place effort in the Travers Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga.
He started his 4-year-old season May 11 at Belmont, winning the six-furlong Waldoboro Stakes by a half-length over D’Funnybone.
"He loves Belmont," McLaughlin said. "He’s a very nice horse. We tried the Travers and he was the favorite, but he doesn’t want to go quite that far. He’s a very fast horse and we’ll probably keep him to a mile or under. This has just worked out well this year so far.
"We’re looking at possibly the Amsterdam (gr. II, Aug. 1 at Saratoga) followed by the Forego (gr. I, Sept. 3 at Saratoga) if that’s what we decide to do. We were pointing for this for so long.”
Trappe Shot has now won six of nine starts and has one second-place finish to his resume, and has earned $576,384.
Khan of Khans finished fifth, followed by Wildcat Brief.