Posse, closing ground with every stride, got by odds-on favorite Midas Eyes at the wire to take the Riva Ridge Breeders' Cup (gr. II) by a nose at Belmont Park Saturday. The 3-year-old Silver Deputy colt covered the seven furlongs over a sloppy track in a good 1:22.03.
Posse and Midas Eyes had met once previously, but Posse has improved a great deal since that March 15 race at Gulfstream, the Swale Stakes (gr. III) which Midas Eyes won by 9 ¼ lengths.
Midas Eyes had started once since that effort, winning the Derby Trial Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs on April 26. Posse had started twice, winning the April 6 Lafayette Stakes (gr. III) at Keeneland and the May 10 Matt Winn at Churchill.
Owned by Bill and Corinne Heiligbrodt and trained by Steve Asmussen, Posse was content under Corey Lanerie to sit in his usual position well off the pace. Bishop Court Hill and Midas Eyes were the early leaders as they cut fractions of :22.27, :44.80, and 1:08.99.
"This makes up for yesterday after losing the Acorn (with Lady Tak, by a head to Bird Town)," Bill Heiligbrodt said. "This is just an impressive race for him. I wasn't concerned about Midas Eyes. I think right now, we're going to keep him at this distance. I like fast horses, and he is really a fast horse."
Lanerie patiently waited as Jerry Bailey and Midas Eyes opened up daylight down the stretch. At the eighth pole, Posse was in a full drive and closing with every stride. The two hit the wire together, the photo showing Posse a nose winner. It was another 6 ¼ lengths back to Halo Homewrecker in third.
"He broke sharp, but fell back like he always does," said Lanerie. "I let him do that until he gets too far back, then I let him creep a little closer. I have to be careful because he is quick."
"What do you want me to say? I got beat," said trainer Bobby Frankel, who saddled Midas Eyes.
Bailey offered no excuse for the narrow loss.
"I laid off like I wanted to, made the lead and then I got run down and beat at the wire," he said.
Posse earned $120,000 for the victory and now has a career total of $489,581 with six wins in 12 starts.
Posse paid $8.30, $3 and $2.50, while Midas Eyes returned $2.50 and $2.30. Halo Homewrecker was worth $3.
Posse, out of the Rahy mare Raska, was bred in Kentucky by Robert and Lawana Low.