Formidable, already with a pair of solid turf efforts this season, returns to the grass as the 9-5 favorite against six sprinters in the $200,000 Jaipur Stakes (gr. IIIT) July 17 at Belmont Park.
The six-furlong Jaipur is the final stakes of the 2010 Belmont spring/summer meet and is slated for a 5:17 p.m. EDT post as race 9 on a 10-race program.
Formidable exits a distant fourth-place effort in the June 5 True North (gr. II) on the Belmont main track. Previously he won a five-furlong allowance sprint on the Gulfstream Park turf while overcoming a bad start, and was fourth but beaten just one length in the Churchill Downs Turf Sprint (gr. IIIT) April 30—his first two starts on grass.
The 5-year-old son of Sky Mesa began his season with consecutive wins on dirt in optional claiming company.
“He had a lot of trouble with his foot when he was younger,” said trainer Allen Jerkens, who trains the horse for owner/breeder Robert Clay. “We used to have to stop a lot on him. He’s been able to train more up to the races now.
“We think he might be a little bit better on the turf. His (True North) was pretty good. He moved a little quick.”
Jose Lezcano, who has ridden Formidable in all but one of his five career victories, regains the mount. The duo will break from post 5.
The bay horse was co-bred by Fair Way Equine and is out of the Star de Naskra mare Santaria.
The 2-1 second choice is Stradivinsky, who will put a three-race winning streak on the line one start after being claimed for $50,000 by Michael Dubb.
An easy winner against $25,000 claimers in a turf sprint at Gulfstream on March 7 in his second start of the year, Stradivinsky followed that performance with an equally impressive score against $35,000 claimers when dashing on the grass at Arlington Park on May 1. Sent to Churchill Downs by trainer Larry Rivelli, the 7-year-old scored by 2 1/4 lengths on May 27, the race in which he was claimed out of. Rick Dutrow Jr. has since taken over training duties on the son of Stravinsky.
“His numbers were good,” said Dutrow of the decision to claim the bay gelding. “He’s ready to run. This is a big race for him; if he wins, the owners will get twice their money back.”
Stradivinsky also runs for Jack Mandato and Bethlehem Stables. He will be ridden by C.C. Lopez.
Fox Ridge Farm’s Yield Bogey, third in the grade III Poker last year at Belmont, rebounded from a last-of-seven performance in a six-furlong optional claimer May 30 in his season debut to post an 18-1 upset at that level over the same distance June 25 at Belmont.
Pat Kelly, who trains 6-year-old Yield Bogey, believes his Jaipur hopeful has found his niche in turf sprints.
“We tried stretching him out. He’s had a couple of OK races, but he seems to be a closing sprinter,” Kelly said. “He wants to take off sometimes. In the longer races he won’t relax. Usually (in turf sprints), there’s someone out there winging.”
Yield Bogey, who drew the rail, was tabbed at 6-1 on the morning line and will be guided by regular rider Jean-Luc Samyn.
$200,000 Jaipur Stakes (gr. IIIT, Race 9, 5:17 p.m.), 3YO & Up, 6 Furlongs Miles (Turf) PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Yield Bogey (KY), J Samyn, 118, P J Kelly
2. Dubai Rainbow (FL), C Hill, 118, K P McLaughlin
3. Escrow Kid (FL), V Santiago, 113, C Doran
4. Stradivinsky (FL), C C Lopez, 118, R E Dutro, Jr.
5. Formidable (KY), J Lezcano, 118, H A Jerkens
6. Our Friend Harvey (FL), S Bridgmohan, 118, T A Hills
7. Perfect Officer (KY), D Cohen, 118, G Weaver