Burning Roma Wins Futurity Via City Zip DQ

Burning Roma Wins Futurity Via City Zip DQ
Photo: Associated Press / NYRA / Adam Coglianese
Burning Roma (1), with jockey Rick Wilson riding, takes the win in the Futurity Stakes after City Zip, inside, ridden by jockey Jose Santos was disqualified.
After drifting out in the stretch and bumping Burning Roma near the wire, City Zip finished the one-mile of the Futurity a nose ahead of Burning Roma but was disqualified and placed second by the stewards for causing the contact. Burning Roma was moved up to first, keeping the Anthony Dutrow trainee undefeated in three starts. Scorpion finished 4 3/4 lengths farther back, followed by Ommadon, Shooter, Account for Me, Hero's Tribute, and Free of Love. Unbridled Time, unraced since finishing third in the Kentucky Breeders' Cup (gr. III) in May, finished last as the second wagering choice. City Zip stopped the timer at 1:37.90.

While neither City Zip nor Burning Roma maintained a straight course in deep stretch, City Zip bore out particularly hard into Burning Roma near the wire, necessitating the disqualification.

"I think the stewards made the right call," said City Zip's trainer Linda Rice. "Jose (Santos, jockey of City Zip) switched (the whip) to his left hand and (bumped) the other horse twice. He allowed City Zip to drift out a little to intimidate the others and disrupt their run, but it may have been an exaggerated move. It looked like he would have dug in on his own and won anyway."

"I simply hit him too hard and he drifted out because of it," said Santos. "I can't take anything away from my colt. He ran a huge race again. He dug in and it's my fault he got disqualified."

Burning Roma had an eventful trip over the fast Belmont strip. After being taken up at the start, he was in last place early on in the tightly bunched field of nine 2-year-olds. He was then steadied in traffic on the turn before the incident near the wire.

"We were bumped pretty hard at the start by the two-horse (Shooter) but my horse was unfazed by it all," said Rick Wilson, who guided Burning Roma. "The run he put in from the quarter-pole to the wire was great."

Prior to the Futurity, Burning Roma (Rubiano--While Rome Burns, by Overskate) won his debut race by 8 1/4 lengths and then won a $42,000 stakes by 3 3/4 lengths, both at Laurel. Burning Roma earned $120,000 for owner Harold Queen. He was bred in Kentucky by William S. Farish Jr.

Burning Roma paid $37, $11.60, and $5.60. City Zip returned $3.20 and $2.40. Scorpion was worth $3.20 to show. The exacta paid $125. (Chart, Equibase)

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