Midshipman Impressive in Return
by Steve Haskin
Date Posted: 9/18/2009 2:48:07 PM
Last Updated: 9/19/2009 2:25:53 PM

Midshipman's 3yo debut was a winning one.
Photo: NYRA Photo

Godolphin’s Midshipman  , last year’s champion 2-year-old colt who hasn’t run since his victory in the Bessemer Trust Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I), returned in top form Sept. 18, winning a competitive allowance/optional claimer at Belmont Park by 3 1/2 lengths.

 

The son of Unbridled's Song–Fleet Lady, by Avenue of Flags, sent off as the co-favorite at 9-5 along with Just Ben, pressed the early pace set by Just Ben and then drew off to win under wraps in a sharp 1:15.83 for the 6 1/2 furlongs with Richie Migliore in the saddle (VIDEO).

 

Trained by Saeed bin Suroor and brought up to the race by assistant Rick Mettee, Midshipman has now won four of five career starts, including a victory in the Del Mar Futurity (gr. II).

 

Midshipman’s victory continued the incredible roll Godolphin has been since the beginning of the Saratoga meet, in which they won eight of 14 starts, including four grade I scores.

 

For Midshipman, this was his first race on dirt, and now the Godolphin brain trust will have to map out a plan for him.

 

"We'll figure something out," Mettee said. "We felt we were sending out a pretty fit horse off of what he did all summer, but to see him that close to a :44 3/5 half was a little surprising. We thought he'd sit a little further back, but he was pretty sharp coming off a layoff. 

 

"It's just a relief to get him back to the races, and he showed he could handle the dirt. Richie said it was all he could do to hold him back off (Just Ben), but he just cruised around there pretty easily. He wasn't rank, just a bit keen, and Richie said he was hesitant about fighting him," Mettee said.

 



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