Burning Roma continued his reign as the king of minor stakes races for 3-year-olds, defeating This Fleet Is Due by 1 1/4 lengths as the even-money favorite in Sunday's $100,000 Long Branch Breeders' Cup Stakes at Monmouth Park. Under Rick Wilson, Burning Roma completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.28 on a fast track.
Burning Roma has now won five of six races as a 3-year-old, all in listed stakes. He began the year at Tampa Bay Downs, where he won both the Sam F. Davis Stakes and Tampa Bay Derby. He then raced twice at Pimlico, finishing third in the Federico Tesio Stakes and winning the Sir Barton Stakes. In June, he defeated Marciano by 9 3/4 lengths in the Leonard Richard Stakes at Delaware Park. As a juvenile, Burning Roma won both Belmont Park's Futurity Stakes (gr. I) -- via the disqualification of City Zip -- and the Prince George Park Stakes, and finished fourth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I). He earned $60,000 for Sunday's win, his eighth in 11 career starts.
Thunder Blitz finished third, 1 1/2 lengths behind the runner-up. Dayton Flyer, Game Effort, Junior Deputy, and Max Jones completed the order of finish in the track's prep for the $1-million Haskell Invitational (gr. I) on Aug. 5.
Burning Roma (Rubiano--While Rome Burns, by Overskate) was bred in Kentucky by William S. Farish Jr. and is trained by Anthony W. Dutrow for owner Harold Queen.
Burning Roma returned $4, $2.80, and $2.20. This Fleet Is Due paid $4 and $2.80 and completed the $13.40 exacta. Thunder Blitz paid $2.60 to show. (Chart, Equibase