After establishing a course record at Belmont Park three weeks ago, Gantry will face stakes competition for the first time when he competes in the $100,000 Jaipur (gr. IIIT) July 16, the final graded stakes of the Belmont Park spring/summer meet.
Placed on the shelf following a 3 ¾-length maiden triumph on dirt at Parx Racing last November, Gantry made his return winning an optional claiming allowance event in his turf debut June 23, needing only a hand-ride to prevail by 3 ½ lengths. The final time of 1:06.87 improved the previous six-furlong inner-turf course record at Belmont by 0.17 seconds.
“I wasn’t looking for a track record, but he had worked very on turf well at Palm Meadows,” said Mike Hushion, who trains Gantry for Black Swan Stable. “His female family is turfy, so we thought he’d run well.”
While Gantry is eligible for the second allowance condition, Hushion believes the Jaipur, which will be contested at seven furlongs on the Widener turf course, is the right spot to test the 4-year-old gelded son of Pulpit against stakes competition.
“A two-other-than (allowance) in Saratoga isn’t an easy race, either,” noted Hushion.
Mike Luzzi will ride Gantry, the 2-1 morning-line favorite, from post 6.
Seven are set in the Jaipur, with two others entered for the main track only. The race is the ninth on the card with a 5:17 p.m. EDT post.
Trainer Christophe Clement will send out a pair of stakes winners in Right One and Nordic Truce.
Ghislaine Head’s Right One, a two-time victor in France, won his first two starts in the United States, taking a Gulfstream Park optional claimer April 1 and capturing the Island Sun overnight stakes at Belmont on May 12. Stepped up in class for the one-mile Poker (gr. IIIT) on a good Belmont course June 10, Right One finished third behind Courageous Cat , who returned to win the Shoemaker Mile (gr. IT).
Lone front-runner Yield Bogey, second in the Poker, also returns in the Jaipur.
Right One, the 5-2 second choice on the morning line, drew post 7. Javier Castellano, who enters the final week of racing at the Belmont spring/summer meet two wins behind leading jockey Ramon Dominguez, has the call.
Ammerland Stud’s Nordic Truce seeks his first stakes victory since taking the 2010 Transylvania (gr. IIIT) at Keeneland. The 4-year-old opened his 2011 campaign with two starts in optional claimers around two turns at Gulfstream Park. He finished sixth Feb. 26 and then prevailed by a neck April 22. Returning to stakes company for the six furlong Highlander (Can-IIT) at Woodbine June 26, Nordic Truce finished ninth after stumbling on the turn.
“He ran very well at Gulfstream,” said Clement. “He came back in a sprint at Woodbine. It was a waste of a race. He was scared of something on the turn; he jumped it. I don’t know why. He came back in great shape. This should be an ideal distance.”
Jean-Luc Samyn will ride Nordic Truce, 6-1 on the morning line, from post 4.
Evolutionist will make his second start off an 18-month sabbatical in the Jaipur, having finished fourth in a 1 1/16-mile optional claimer at Belmont June 16.
“He’s had a race coming off the long layoff,” said trainer Bill Mott. “He got a conditioner out of it. The race was at a mile-and-a-sixteenth and he seems better at a flat mile or less.”
Eddie Castro has the assignment aboard Evolutionist, 10-1 on the morning line, from post 5.
Radiohead, victorious in the 2009 Norfolk (Eng-II) at Royal Ascot, will attempt to pick up his first stakes score in the U.S. Trained by Rick Dutrow for Pegasus Holding Group and IEAH Stables, the 4-year-old has made two starts in 2011, winning a May 18 Belmont optional claimer on dirt and finishing third in the June 18 Parx Dash Handicap on turf.
Cornelio Velasquez will ride Radiohead, tabbed at 5-1 on the morning line, from post 3.
Targhee Pass, who annexed a May 25 starter allowance at Belmont, and Yield Bogey, who was second in last year’s Jaipur, complete the lineup. D' Funnybone and Spa City Fever were entered for the main track only.
$100,000 Jaipur Stakes (gr. III, Race 9, 5:17 p.m.), 3 & Up, 7 Furlongs (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Targhee Pass (FL), J Sanchez, 118, H A Jerkens
2. Nordic Truce (KY), J Samyn, 122, C Clement
3. Radiohead (GB), C H Velasquez, 118, R E Dutrow Jr.
4. Yield Bogey (KY), J F Chavez, 118, P J Kelly
5. Evolutionist (KY), E Castro, 118, W I Mott
6. Gantry (KY), M J Luzzi, 118, M E Hushion
7. Right One (FR), J Castellano, 118, C Clement
Main Track Only
8. D' Funnybone (FL), 122, no rider, R E Dutrow Jr.
9. Spa City Fever (NY), J F Chavez, 118, P J Kelly