(Edited NYRA report)
Dry Martini became a millionaire at Belmont Park on July 4, rallying from last to post a two-length upset of favored Asiatic Boy in the 123rd running of the $400,000 Suburban Handicap (gr. II) (VIDEO).
Under jockey Edgar Prado, who won the grade II Dwyer earlier on the Independence Day card with Kensei, the 6-year-old gelded son of Slew Gin Fizz sat behind fractions of 47.63 and 1:11.39 set by longshot Finallymadeit. The winner moved up on the turn, then split horses and came fastest of all for the upset as he covered the 11/4 miles in 2:00.80.
The winner’s purse of $240,000 boosted his bankroll to $1,152,406 for his owner, Carol Nyren.
“He’s a lovely, lovely horse,” said winning trainer Barclay Tagg. “He always runs his race. With all the speed in there, I thought it would work out. There was a very fast half-mile and it worked out well for us. I guess we’ll have to look now at the Whitney (gr. I).”
The $750,000 Whitney Handicap is at 1 1/8 miles on Aug. 8 at Saratoga Race Course.
Asiatic Boy, making his second American start for Sheikh Mohammed Al Maktoum, finished a neck ahead of Rising Moon, with Finallymadeit holding on for fourth.
“He ran well – we’ll have more time going into the Whitney, five weeks,” said Kiaran McLaughlin, trainer of the beaten favorite. “And the winner ran well.”
Dry Martini has not been off the board in five starts this year since moving to Tagg’s barn, finishing second in the Sunshine Millions Classic in his first start of 2009, fourth in the New Orleans Handicap (gr. II), third in the Charles Town Classic, and winning a $65,000 overnight stakes at Belmont in his previous start on May 8.
Sent off at $10-1, Dry Martini returned $23.60 to his backers in the holiday crowd of 7,667.
“It worked out the way we planned it,” said Prado, who has been aboard for all five starts this year. “Just break, take a little hold, save as much ground as possible and hopefully pick up the pieces and come with a run. He ran a super race last time, he was right there every step of the way, and today he did the same thing … just a little traffic at the top of the stretch, but once he found his room he just leveled off and found another gear.”