In a thrilling three-horse finish, Beacon Shine was all out to win the $105,100 Flash Stakes (gr. III) Friday at Belmont Park.
"They were 'ding-donging' there, and if they were going farther than five furlongs, I probably wouldn't have liked it too much," said winning trainer Bill Mott.
The Florida-bred Beacon Shine broke like a bullet under Javier Castellano from the outside in the five-horse field and was quickly joined by Speed of Sound and John Velazquez. The two were quickly in front of their competitors through a quarter in :21.87 and a half in :45.21. Down the stretch, Speed of Sound was on the rail and Beacon Shine on the outside. Beacon Sound went in front, but Speed of Sound kept on battling.
As they roared down the lane, Richard Migliore began to move Union Course outside of them and made a huge move as the wire neared. It appeared Speed of Sound got his head in front briefly, but as the three hit the line together, Beacon Shine got the win. The photo revealed he just narrowly did, with Union Course second and Speed of Sound third. Three noses separated them at the wire.
"The first time watching this race (replay) I thought the inside horse (Speed of Sound) won," Mott said. "The second time I saw it, I thought the outside horse (Union Course) won."
Beacon Shine was making his third start for George Steinbrenner's Kinsman Stable. He broke his maiden in the mud at Keeneland and then ran a solid third behind the talented but recently injured Half Ours in the Three Chimneys Juvenile on the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) undercard. The $64,260 winning share pushed his career earnings to $101,680.
"This is the two-year-old type," said Mott, known for patience with young horses. "He's probably the first one I've had like this in a while. He's bred to be rapid. He's built that way and he is. He is a fun horse. We have no plans at this time. We'll wait and see how he is."
, out of the Valid Appeal mare Unlimited Pleasure, Beacon Shine was bred by Ocala Stud Farm. He ran the distance in :58.39 and paid $6.60, $3.70 and $2.10. Union Course returned $6.50 and $2.10 and 7-10 favorite Speed of Sound was worth $2.10.
"I had a lot of confidence in the horse," said Castellano, the only rider Beacon Shine has had. "The first time, he was very impressive. The second time, he had a trouble trip at Churchill Downs. It was Kentucky Derby day and he was nervous because there were a lot of people in the paddock. He settled down good today. He was very relaxed. I knew I had to beat Speed of Sound. I did it. I put my horse right on him."
Speed of Sound, according to trainer Steve Kelsaris, bumped into the starting gate coming away.
"That was a great horse race," Klesaris said. "I think if he had gotten away a little cleaner, it would have helped. When I watched the head-on, it looked like he slammed his shoulder on the side of the gate. In three strides, he was right in the game."
Added Velazquez about Speed of Sound: "He ran hard. He put his toes down in the gate and wasn't standing properly. The gate opened and he hit it coming out. He ran big and put up a good fight."
Speed of Sound's stablemate, Master of Disaster, was scratched. Outsider Tompest and debuting Mister Zee trailed.