Belmont Racing Report: The Frankel Factory

Published in the June 15 issue of The Blood-Horse
The Belmont Stakes Day undercard and preceding days' stakes were characterized by dominating victories and strong-willed performances.

On June 7, the day before the Belmont, the one-mile Acorn (gr. I) served as a reaffirmation of sorts for the Bobby Frankel-trained You. Edmund A. Gann's dark bay daughter of You and I pulled away through the stretch to an authoritative 7 1/4-length victory beneath jockey Jerry Bailey after being pushed through sizzling early fractions of :22.39 and :44.71. You rebounded impressively from her weakening, two-turn excursion in the 1 1/8-mile Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), setting a new stakes record for the one-turn Acorn of 1:34.05.

"She smoked them turning for home," said Bailey following the first leg of the Triple Tiara for 3-year-old fillies. "That's the way she won her sprint races last year."

Turning for home, a challenge never materialized from the Neil Drysdale-trained Bella Bellucci, the 3-5 favorite. Though the early fractions played perfectly to the long striding gray's closing style, it was apparent from the start to jockey Gary Stevens that his filly was off her best game.

"About 3 1/2 furlongs out, the pace picked up, and she couldn't pick it up," said a disappointed Stevens. "She felt like she was running in quicksand with lead boots on."

Frankel garnered great satisfaction from You's strong performance. "Every time you get beat they drop you to the bottom of the heap," he said. "I loved her today. I didn't know if I could beat the other filly (Bella Bellucci), but I knew she'd run a hell of a race."

The Frankel-trained Beat Hollow dominated the 1 1/4-mile Manhattan (gr. IT) over Belmont Park's inner turf course from start to finish. Jockey Alex Solis reined the Judd-monte Farms runner on an uncontested lead. The pair was allowed to lope along through an opening quarter of :24.77 and a half of :49.57. But when the real racing began, Beat Hollow was more than up to the task.

"I told Alex to put him on the lead," said Frankel. "I didn't think there was that much speed in the race."

After seeing the slow pace develop, did Frankel believe his horse could be caught? "I didn't think so," said the trainer confidently.

The Bill Mott-trained Hap was the first challenger, and the first to be beaten back. After the calculating first half-mile, Beat Hollow ran consecutive quarter-miles of :23.99 and :23.61, lengthening his lead into the stretch to 3 1/2 lengths. Forbidden Apple and Strut the Stage each took aim on the leader through the lane to no avail, finishing second and third, respectively.

"When I got down on him and asked him at the eighth pole, he responded very strongly," said Solis.

Beat Hollow rolled home an impressive two-length winner, racing a final quarter-mile in :24.12. Bred in Great Britain, the 5-year-old son of Sadler's Wells improved his lifetime record to six wins in eight starts, including victories in the Grand Prix de Paris (Fr-I) and Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. IT).


On June 7, the day before the Belmont, the one-mile Acorn (gr. I) served as a reaffirmation of sorts for the Bobby Frankel-trained You. Edmund A. Gann's dark bay daughter of You and I pulled away through the stretch to an authoritative 7 1/4-length victory beneath jockey Jerry Bailey after being pushed through sizzling early fractions of :22.39 and :44.71. You rebounded impressively from her weakening, two-turn excursion in the 1 1/8-mile Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), setting a new stakes record for the one-turn Acorn of 1:34.05.

"She smoked them turning for home," said Bailey following the first leg of the Triple Tiara for 3-year-old fillies. "That's the way she won her sprint races last year."

Turning for home, a challenge never materialized from the Neil Drysdale-trained Bella Bellucci, the 3-5 favorite. Though the early fractions played perfectly to the long striding gray's closing style, it was apparent from the start to jockey Gary Stevens that his filly was off her best game.

"About 3 1/2 furlongs out, the pace picked up, and she couldn't pick it up," said a disappointed Stevens. "She felt like she was running in quicksand with lead boots on."

Frankel garnered great satisfaction from You's strong performance. "Every time you get beat they drop you to the bottom of the heap," he said. "I loved her today. I didn't know if I could beat the other filly (Bella Bellucci), but I knew she'd run a hell of a race."

The Frankel-trained Beat Hollow dominated the 1 1/4-mile Manhattan (gr. IT) over Belmont Park's inner turf course from start to finish. Jockey Alex Solis reined the Judd-monte Farms runner on an uncontested lead. The pair was allowed to lope along through an opening quarter of :24.77 and a half of :49.57. But when the real racing began, Beat Hollow was more than up to the task.

"I told Alex to put him on the lead," said Frankel. "I didn't think there was that much speed in the race."

After seeing the slow pace develop, did Frankel believe his horse could be caught? "I didn't think so," said the trainer confidently.

The Bill Mott-trained Hap was the first challenger, and the first to be beaten back. After the calculating first half-mile, Beat Hollow ran consecutive quarter-miles of :23.99 and :23.61, lengthening his lead into the stretch to 3 1/2 lengths. Forbidden Apple and Strut the Stage each took aim on the leader through the lane to no avail, finishing second and third, respectively.

"When I got down on him and asked him at the eighth pole, he responded very strongly," said Solis.

Beat Hollow rolled home an impressive two-length winner, racing a final quarter-mile in :24.12. Bred in Great Britain, the 5-year-old son of Sadler's Wells improved his lifetime record to six wins in eight starts, including victories in the Grand Prix de Paris (Fr-I) and Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. IT).

(Chart, Equibase)

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