Lael Stable's odds-on choice Showing Up shook off a determined charge from Outperformance at the head of the stretch and stormed to a commanding 3 1/2-length win in the $290,000 Jamaica Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) for 3-year-olds on the Belmont Park inner turf course Saturday.
The winner of the Secretariat (gr. IT) at Arlington Park Sept. 9 for trainer Barclay Tagg, Showing Up has won three of his past four starts. His only loss in the span came in his last start Sept. 9 at Belmont, when third to older grass star Cacique in the 11-furlong Man O' War (gr. IT).
Ridden by Cornelio Velasquez, Showing Up, carrying top weight of 124 pounds, completed the 1 1/8-mile distance in 1:47 4/5 on firm going.
Stalking the pace into the final turn, Showing Up was given his head by Velasquez and they soon drew alongside pacesetters Carnera and Kiss the Kid coming off the turn. Within a few strides, he swept past those challengers only to be tackled by Outperformance on the outside. Showing Up seemed to relish the fight, however, and he grabbed the bit and quickly strode away while eating up the ground impressively under a hand ride.
Outperformance, carrying 115 pounds, stayed on for second under Javier Castellano by two lengths with Irish-bred Spider Power rallying late for third under Richard Migliore.
"He ran a beautiful race," said Tagg, who will likely run the Strategic Mission
colt back in the $500,000 Hollywood Derby (gr. IT) at 10 furlongs on the turf at Hollywood Park Nov. 26. "He settled behind the speed very nicely. I never expected him to be that cool. Outperformance was a horse I was worried about. (Trainer) Rick Violette is as hot as a firecracker, and we were giving that horse a lot of weight. When Outperformance came up along side of him, he kicked in beautifully. I loved his race. My plan is to go to Hollywood with him."
Kiss the Kid took the lead from Showing Up shortly after the start and led by one length as he clipped off fractions of :25 1/5 and :49 3/5. Carnera, never far behind while racing second, collared the leader on the far turn after six furlongs in 1:12 4/5 and led briefly until Showing Up swept past on the outside.
The victory was worth $180,000 to owners Gretchen and Roy Jackson and brought Showing Up's career earnings to $1,310,500 – all this year.
Showing Up's victory, his sixth in eight starts including the Lexington (gr. II) on dirt at Keeneland in April, wasn't worth much to his backers. He paid $2.90, $2.20 and $2.10. Outperformance, a grade III winner on a soft Belmont turf in June, returned $4.10 and $3.20. Spider Power, now graded stakes placed in four of his past five starts without winning, was $3.80 to show.
Devil's Preacher finished fourth, followed by Kiss the Kid, Presious Passion, Carnera, and Irish Osprey. Kip Deville and Oedipus O'Neal were scratched.