Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Brahman Red's Battier is the lone stakes winner in a field of six 3-year-olds who will assemble July 6 for the $200,000 Dwyer Stakes (gr. II) at Belmont Park, and carries a 118-pound highweight against his rivals' 116.
All entered in the 1 1/16-mile Dwyer, Race 9 with an approximate post time of 5:17 p.m. EDT, seek their first graded score.
Trained by Todd Pletcher, Battier took the April 7 Fit to Fight Stakes going one mile at Aqueduct Racetrack before coming back with a third by 1 1/4 lengths in the seven-furlong Gygistar at Belmont behind Declan's Warrior and Tenango May 22.
In the Fit to Fight, he rallied four wide to seize command within the sixteenth marker before drawing off to a 1 1/2-length win. Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez has the call from the rail aboard the multiple stakes-placed son of Tale of the Cat, who is 2-1 on the morning line and has never been worse than third with a 4-2-1 record from seven starts.
One with stakes experience but still in pursuit of the victory is WinStar Farm and Twin Creeks Racing Stable's Abraham, fourth in the Illinois Derby (gr. III) two starts back. Also trained by Pletcher, the Distorted Humor colt followed that effort with a fourth in the May 11 Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II) over an extremely sloppy racetrack. Earlier in the year he was third in the Sunland Derby (gr. III). Junior Alvarado rides from the outside; Abraham is 5-2 on the morning line.
Mr. and Mrs. William K. Warren Jr.'s Saint Vigeur was second in the Peter Pan, 13 1/4 lengths back of Freedom Child's colossal score. Trainer Chad Brown entered the Smart Strike runner off back-to-back wins in a Feb. 9 maiden special weight at the Dwyer Distance and an April 11 allowance optional claimer, the latter won by a neck going 1 1/8 miles. Javier Castellano is in the irons from post 3.
Completing the field are Alex and JoAnn Lieblong's maiden winner For Greater Glory, sixth in the Illinois Derby (gr. II) and second last time out for trainer Steve Hobby in a June 2 optional claimer at Churchill Downs; Darley'sMake Your Move, winner of a May 30 optional claimer at Belmont Park for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin; and Southern Equine Stable's recent maiden winner Moreno for trainer Eric Guillot.
$200,000 Dwyer Stakes (gr. II, Race 9, approximate post 5:17 p.m. EDT), 3YOs, 1 1/16 miles (dirt)
PP, Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer, Odds
1. Battier (FL), J.R. Velazquez, 118, T A Pletcher, 2-1
2. Moreno (KY), J.L. Ortiz, 116, E J Guillot, 6-1
3. Saint Vigeur (KY), J. Castellano, 116, C C Brown, 4-1
4. For Greater Glory (KY), R. Albarado, 116, S Hobby, 5-1
5. Make Your Move (KY), I. Ortiz, Jr., 116, K P McLaughlin, 10-1
6. Abraham (KY), J. Alvarado, 116, T A Pletcher, 5-2