Trainer Wesley Ward, who saddled a 2-year-old stakes winner at the Royal Ascot meet, continued to demonstrate his prowess with juveniles June 20 at Belmont Park, sending out Bessie's Boy to a facile six-length victory in the $95,000 Tremont Stakes (VIDEO).
It was the ninth win with a juvenile this year for Ward, who scored at Royal Ascot June 17 with Hootenanny in the Windsor Castle Stakes.
Under Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez, 2-1 shot Bessie's Boy made slight contact with 9-10 favorite Chocolate Wildcat when he lunged at the start, but quickly took control in the four-horse field. The son of Smoke Glacken did not cede the advantage at any point of the 5 1/2-furlong dash, setting fractions of :22.41 for the opening quarter-mile and :45.16 for a half. Shrugging off a challenge near the furlong pole from Chocolate Wildcat, he drew off for an impressive score while stepping the final sixteenth in 6.59 seconds.
The bay gelding stopped the clock in 1:03.89 and returned $6 for a $2 win wager. Owned by Ice Wine Stable, Bessie's Boy enhanced his bankroll to $82,800 and remained unbeaten in two starts.
"I just broke and held on," said Velazquez. "We were expecting that somebody was going to go to the lead and I tried to put him behind horses. I couldn't put him behind horses, so I just let him do whatever he wanted to do after that. It was pretty easy."
Bred in Pennsylvania by Charles Zacney out of the winning Meadowlake mare Rey Lake, Bessie's Boy sold for $15,500 to Preferred Equine, agent, when consigned by Charlton at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic December 2012 Mixed Sale.
Chocolate Wildcat checked in second after tracking the early pace, a half-length in front of first-time starter King Rontos, who finished 6 1/4 lengths ahead of Shrewd Move.
This was the 118th renewal of the Tremont, but the first time the race had been run since Belmont discontinued it in 2008.