Joking, a 9-1 shot who returned $21.80 while giving owner/trainer Charlton Baker his first graded stakes victory, dashed across the line to upset by a neck.
Son of Tapit wins the True North Handicap by 8 1/2 lengths in 1:08.86; gives trainer Kiaran McLaughlin his second stakes score in a row on Belmont Stakes undercard.
Emirates Airline, a long-time partner of the New York Racing Association, will serve as the presenting sponsor of the $250,000 True North Handicap (gr. II).
He was somewhat shadowed on Belmont Day last year by his stablemate Big Brown. But Benny the Bull may play a starring role this time around for trainer Rick Dutrow and the IEAH Stables, as the 6-year-old makes his long-awaited, somewhat surprising return in the $250,000 True North Stakes (gr. II) on June 6.
If Benny the Bull's victory in the True North Handicap (gr. II) is any indication of how trainer Rick Dutrow and owner IEAH Stables will fare with Big Brown later in the day in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), things are looking good for the Triple Crown-chasing team.
Keyed Entry blew the turn, carrying out Bordonaro, and Will He Shine takes advantage to win the True North Handicap (gr. II).
Wicked Witchcraft, dam of 1994 champion older male The Wicked North, died March 13 of natural causes at David and Marylyn Randal's Randal Farm near Fallbrook, Calif.
Tiger tries to stay unbeaten against stakes rivals when he meets seven others in the $200,000 True North Handicap (gr. II) at six furlongs on the Belmont Park main track.
Judiths Wild Rush, Canada's champion sprinter in 2005, made it back-to-back wins in the $150,000 Vigil Stakes (Can-III) at Woodbine on Saturday with a four-length score.
Mike Smith won a stakes race at Belmont Park Saturday aboard a son of Holy Bull. No, not the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) with Giacomo, though he certainly hopes that happens later on the card.
Turf champion Northern Spur has joined dirt champion The Wicked North for stallion duty at True North Farm near Versailles, Ky.
John Velazquez was on some speedballs Saturday at Belmont. A race after he guided Bear Fan to a track record going 6 1/2 furlongs, he took Speightstown on a tour-de-force at six furlongs.
Shake You Down continued to show an affinity for an off track, running fast fractions over a sloppy surface at Belmont Park to win the $190,000 True North Breeders' Cup (gr. II). It was the fourth straight win for Shake You Down since being claimed by trainer Scott Lake, the last two graded stakes victories.
Four graded stakes will play the supporting role to the Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park Saturday. Post time for the True North, the first graded stakes race on the day, is 3:52 p.m (EDT).
The complexion of the True North Handicap (gr. II) changed at the start, when Summer Note, who was unbeaten in four starts and had always showed speed, hopped at the start. Yonaguska and Explicit then were the two left on the lead, and Explicit proved best in the six-furlong race.
Bucking a daylong speed bias, John Rotella's Say Florida Sandy rallied from off a torrid pace to capture the $150,000 Grade II True North Handicap on the Belmont Stakes undercard.
Robbie Davis made a bold move between horses, then shot up the rail to win the True North Handicap (gr. II) with Intidab by a length over Brutally Frank.
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