Five Iron Tees Off in Belmont's Fort Marcy

Five Iron Tees Off in Belmont's Fort Marcy
Photo: Coglianese Photos
Five Iron upsets the Fort Marcy Stakes at Belmont Park.
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Five Iron shot to a 19-1 upset in the $150,000 Fort Marcy Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Belmont Park when favored Ghurair failed to fire in his United States debut in one of two graded stakes on the turf on the Derby day card May 3 (VIDEO).

Two races earlier, favored Waterway Run earned her first win in North America under a patient ride by Jose Lezcano in the $150,000 Beaugay Stakes (gr. IIIT) for older fillies and mares (VIDEO).

Five Iron, with Mike Luzzi aboard, led every step to take the Fort Marcy by a length over Summer Front in 1:48.30 for 1 1/8 miles on an inner turf course rated good.

Brian Lynch trains Five Iron for owner/breeder Fred Allor.

Opening up by nearly 10 lengths on his nine rivals, the 4-year-old son of Sharp Humor galloped through a quarter mile in :24.52, a half in :47.51, and six furlongs in 1:11.29. As Five Iron's lead dwindled to about four lengths on the far turn, Luzzi asked the 4-year-old colt for another gear and he responded with enough to turn back the late charge from Summer Front and Alex Solis.

"If you try to rate him or take hold of him, he'll fight you and he'll run off," said Luzzi, who was aboard the colt for the first time. "It probably looked like he ran off, but I had him. I had him, he didn't have me, which I was happy about. When we got that far in front, at the three-eighths pole, I said, 'Might as well get away now and not wait for them to catch me.' It worked out."

The victory was the first since September for Five Iron, who in his only other journey to New York was a similarly front-running winner of the Saranac (gr. IIIT) at Saratoga Race Course. He subsequently was third in the Hawthorne Derby (gr. IIIT) to close out his 3-year-old campaign, and was ninth in the Appleton Stakes (gr. IIIT) in his seasonal debut March 29 at Gulfstream Park.

Five Iron, out of the Thunder Gulch mare Tee Off, returned $41.20, $15, and $10.40. Summer Front paid $5 and $3.70 to place while two lengths in front of Tetradrachm, who paid $6.30 to show.

The winner earned $90,000 to push his bankroll to $491,060. Overall, the colt is 5-2-2 from 14 career starts.

Speaking of Which, Unbridled Ocean, Sky Blazer, and Swift Warrior followed, with Ghurair, the 6-5 favorite making his North American debut for Shadwell Stable, checking in eighth. Manighar and Seal Cove completed the order of finish.

In the Beaugay, Waterway Run prevailed by a neck over Orion Moon with a game effort on the Widener Course. The 4-year-old daughter of Arch   ran the 1 1/16-mile distance in 1:42.75.

Trained by Chad Brown for Martin Schwartz, Waterway Run suffered two narrow defeats to begin her 2014 campaign, including a nose loss in the Hillsborough (gr. IIIT) at Tampa Bay Downs. On Saturday, she was on the other end of the photo.

Waterway Run settled in midpack for Lezcano behind the pacesetting Assateague, who led the field through an opening quarter-mile in :24.21, a half in :48.15, and three-quarters in 1:12.63. A seam opened for Waterway Run at the top of the stretch and she adroitly bounded through it and charged her way to the finish to score narrowly.

"I thought Jose did a good job," said Brown. "It looked like she was in tight quarters for most of the race and he just bided his time. When she got in the clear she showed the kick that she has; we were very pleased with the performance and the ride. The distance was key for her. A mile or a mile and a sixteenth is her game."

Waterway Run, bred in Pennsylvania by Dorothy A. Matz out of the Dixieland Band mare Princess Consort, paid $6.60, $3.30, and $2.70 as the slight favorite. Her career bankroll now stands at $182,789 with four wins from 11 starts.

Runner-up Orion Moon, who paid $3.60 and $2.80 as the second choice, was caught in tight in the stretch under Junior Alvarado. Byrama, 1 1/4 lengths farther back with Chris DeCarlo aboard, paid $3.60. Scampering, English Class, Assateague, and Irish Mission completed the order of finish.

Watsdachances was scratched while Natalie Victoria and Sunny Desert were entered for the main track only.

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