The 7-year-old son of Rainbow Corner earned his first graded-stakes win in the United States while returning from Dubai off a more than three-month layoff. Eduardo Caramori trained the winner for Abdul Rahman Al Jasmi. Sent off at odds of 9-1, the bay horse won for the ninth time in 26 starts.
It was a heartbreaking defeat for Gabriel’s Hill, the 18-1 longshot who nearly took the field of eight wire-to-wire in the 1 1/2-mile race. One of four sons of A. P. Indy in the field, Gabriel’s Hill wrested the lead away from favored American Dance going into the first turn and never looked back.
He set fractions of :24.59, :49.43, 1:15.02, and 1:39.22 under Eibar Coa, with American Dance, Gangbuster, Tranquil Manner, Stones River, Tiger's Rock, and last year’s Brooklyn winner, Eldaafer all giving chase.
When they rounded the final turn, Gabriel’s Hill held a narrow advantage over Eldaafer, who was between horses, and Alcomo on the outside. The game Gabriel’s Hill would not relinquish his lead from the inside and kept his short lead in deep stretch. It wasn’t until the final yards that Alcomo closed ground under Cornelio Velasquez and finally got up in the final jump.
The final time on the fast main track was 2:30.07. Eldaafer was another two lengths back in third. Stones River was fourth.
“I broke well and stayed in a good position," Velasquez said. "I was in the clear at the quarter pole, and I had a lot of horse. I thought I had the race easy, but (Gabriel's Hill), he ran a good race. I knew I was in front at the wire.”
Alcomo won for the first time since scoring the Greenwood Cup at Philadelphia Park Casino & Racetrack last July. A two-time group stakes winner in Brazil, he shipped to the U.S. at the start of 2009.
Alcomo was fifth in last season's Brooklyn Handicap. Most recently, Alcomo raced in Dubai, finishing well back in three starts on the synthetic surface at Meydan Racecourse this season.
“We know the horse hates synthetics, but the owners live (in Dubai)," said Caue Caramori, assistant to Eduardo Caramori. "Luckily, he came back even better than he left. This is a nice horse; a real pleasure to train. The Breeders’ Cup (Marathon) is at Churchill Downs this year, and that’s our main goal.”