Ramon Dominguez rode 2-1 pick Redeemed to victory for Samantha Siegel's Jay Em Ess Stable and trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. The 4-year-old Include colt drew away in the stretch to easily defeat Eldaafer, who rallied into contention on the far turn but was no match for the winner. The winning time for the 1 1/2-mile marathon journey was 2:28.89 on a fast track.
Redeemed was coming off a 9 3/4-length runaway in a 1 1/8-mile off-the-turf overnight stakes over two rivals on a sloppy Belmont track May 3. The bay won the Oklahoma Derby and Discovery Handicap (gr III) last fall and has captured four of his five starts at Belmont.
“He’s been running with good horses, and he’s been showing up," Dutrow said. "I don’t know what’s next in store for him, but we’re going to have to stay after the big races. We’ll just have to see what’s next."
Morgan's Ford Farm bred Redeemed in Virginia. Out of the Pleasant Tap mare Early Mass, Redeemed was a $50,000 auction purchase at the 2009 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic September yearling sale.
Carrying top weight of 121 pounds in the field of 11, Redeemed broke on top from post 10 and cleared his rivals while angling to the inside to take command heading into the clubhouse turn of Belmont's massive oval. Eye on Jacob and Kentucky Reign tracked early before Birdrun, after nearly losing jockey Rajiv Maragh when he leapt at the start, rallied along the inside to get into second.
Redeemed ran the opening half-mile in :48.12 and clocked a mile in 1:37.19.
Birdrun faded quickly after his big move and Eldaafer came on to take second over a weakening Kentucky Reign. Eldaafer closed the gap rounding the final bend, but by the time they reached the homestretch, Redeemed was clearly in control. He gradually pulled away for Dominguez, who gave Redeemed a couple of reminders to keep going in upper stretch.
“He relaxed beautifully for me, and when it was time to go turning for home he responded beautifully and galloped out strong," Dominguez said. "I wasn’t overly confident, because you don’t know about the distance with any of them. We don’t run these distances daily, but I couldn’t be any happier with how well he relaxed for me."
Eldaafer, though tiring, was best of the rest at 26-1 odds with Paco Lopez aboard. Arthur's Tale, ridden by Javier Castellano, finished third, 2 1/4 lengths behind the runner-up.
In the money in all but one of his 12 starts, Redeemed notched his seventh career win while boosting his bankroll to $712,140.
Redeemed paid $6.50, $4.50, and $3.10 and topped a $157.50 exacta with Eldaafer, winner of the 2009 Brooklyn. Eldaafer returned $21 and $11.20. Arthur's Tale was $4.90 to show.
Balladry, part of an entry with Arthur's Tale, was scratched.