A rainy Thursday afternoon at Belmont Park saw the return of Jerry Bailey, the debut of Smuggler, and a wild ninth race that included two late scratches, a spill, and a lengthy stewards' inquiry.
Bailey finished fourth on both of his mounts, his first two since breaking his left wrist in a freak accident at his Florida home on Sept. 1. Smuggler, a beautifully bred Shug McGaughey-trained first time starter, overshadowed Bailey's first race back,.
Smuggler was the people's choice at even money, but despite urging from John Velazquez, fell to the rear of the field halfway through the six-furlong maiden special weight contest for 2-year old fillies. Approaching the top of the stretch she was angled out into the clear and unleashed a strong rally to run down Devine Will to win going away in a time of 1:11.91.
Smuggler is by Unbridled out of McGaughey's champion mare Inside Information.
In the ninth and final race of the day, the oddities began when Happinessisapuppy unseated Fernando Jara, wheeled and ran off. She managed to make her way over the outside railing and nearly off the grounds before being run down. In the meantime, the track vets recommended that Mheara Maskey be scratched at the gate.
Once the race began, Lady Fencer was pulled up at the top of the stretch and left the track in a horse ambulance. Moments later, Lord and Lady B clipped heels with Shiree Amour, dropping jockey Jose Espinoza.
Espinoza was taken to first aid and did not appear to be seriously injured. Lord and Lady B remained on the track for a short time before bouncing up and walking off, seemingly none the worse for wear.
Meanwhile, Shiree Amour won a narrow photo for fourth to complete the superfecta. Following a long look by the stewards, Shiree Amour, who was ridden by apprentice Eriluis Vaz, was upheld as the fourth place finisher.
Heavy favorite Karakorum Splendor won the race by 13 1/2 lengths for the team of Jimmy Jerkens and Pablo Fragoso.