(Edited NYRA report)
The field for Sunday’s 35th running of the grade II, $200,000 Tom Fool at Belmont Park was reduced to four the morning of the race after trainer Todd Beattie scratched morning-line favorite and high weight Fabulous Strike.
Beattie said the decision was made after consulting with owner Walter Downey and was based on a number of factors.
“He’s doing great,” said Beattie. “(But) we weighed out the positives and negatives. I have a lot of respect for Munnings and we were giving him 11 pounds today. With the difference in weight, drawing the one hole and going seven furlongs, we just felt there wasn’t a lot working in his favor. He ran a monstrous effort four weeks ago. I had a long discussion with Mr. Downey (owner Walter Downey) and he felt the same.”
Fabulous Strike, a gelded six-year-old son of Smart Strike, will be pointed toward the six-furlong, grade II, $250,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap at Saratoga Race Course on Sunday, August 9. In winning the six-furlong grade II, $250,000 True North Handicap at Belmont Park last month in 1:07.85, Fabulous Strike equaled the stakes record set by Groovy in 1987.
“The Vanderbilt going three-quarters is a much better distance for him,” Beattie said. “Some extra time will be good for him.”
With four betting interests, there will be no show or trifecta wagering in the Tom Fool. Multi-race wagering is not affected.