Around the Cape avoided trouble in the stretch run under Cornelio Velasquez to capture the $111,500 Jaipur (gr. IIIT) at six furlongs on the Belmont Park inner turf course in track-record time Sunday.
Rallying from the outside in the lane, the 4-year-old Carson City colt hit the front nearing the sixteenth pole after a sustained charge to post a three-quarters of a length victory. His main rivals Bold Decision and Summer Service bumped repeatedly in tight quarters directly to the inside of Around the Cape in the stretch run. The final time was 1:07.31, breaking the mark of 1:07.89 established on May 4 by Jaipur favorite Not Phone, who finished fourth Sunday.
"That was a terrific performance," winning trainer Bill Mott said.
Bold Decision, a 25-1 shot who led most of the way under Jose Espinoza, held on to finish second by a neck over Summer Service. After an objection by the rider of Summer Service, Kent Desormeaux, against both the first and second-place finishers, stewards reviewed the stretch run but decided to leave the order of finish intact.
The 8-year-old Argentine-bred Not Phone, the 6-5 choice in the field of seven, trailed the compact field for most of the running and finished up well while never threatening for Edgar Prado.
Bold Decision set strong fractions of :21 4/5, :44 2/5 and :55 2/5 while under heavy pressure for the first-half mile from Primary Suspect, and gave way only grudgingly while engaged with Summer Service on his inside. Around the Cape, who raced near the pacesetters on the outside, dug in for the long drive and came in on the other two slightly in deep stretch while edging away as the trio closed in on the wire.
Owned by Live Oak Plantation, Around the Cape had all kinds of problems in his most recent start, a second-place finish by a neck to Atticus Kristy in the Shakertown (gr. IIIT) on the Keeneland turf April 14. Rallying smartly along the rail in that race, Around the Cape shied from a whip or another horse in deep stretch and banged the fence, costing him a chance to win.
The Jaipur was a seven-furlong race from 1986-2005.
"It would have been fine with me if they left the race at seven furlongs, but today was a good race, too," Mott said. "I don't know what our long-range plans are. He might get a mile."
Around the Cape, who also placed in the seven-furlong Swale (gr. II) on the Gulfstream Park main track last year at 3, earned his first graded stakes win while improving his lifetime record to 4-3-3 in 12 starts. The winner's share, $66,900, increased his earnings to $213,862. Bred by Betz Farm and partners in Kentucky, Around the Cape was a $290,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling sale in August 2003. He is out of the Alzao mare Song of Africa.
The second choice at 9-5, Around the Cape paid $5.70, $4.20 and $2.80. The New York-bred Bold Decision returned $21.40 and $10.80 in his graded stakes debut. Summer Service was $4.30 to show.
Not Phone was followed by Primary Suspect, Si O No and Blakelock. War Plan scratched. Spooky Mulder was entered for the main track only.