If you want to strike a chord in trainer Scott Lake, just ask him what he thinks Don Six can do at six furlongs."Honestly, I don't think there's a horse that can beat him at three quarters," Lake said. "I guess I'm a little on the confident side."Lake will put his money where his mouth is Saturday at Belmont Park when he sends out the freakishly fast Don Six in the co-featured Bold Ruler Handicap (gr. III) at six furlongs. Don Six is the 120-pound high weight and horse to beat in the $100,000-added Bold Ruler as he faces five rivals.
The Bold Ruler is one of two stakes offered at Belmont on Saturday - Kentucky Derby Day - and will share the spotlight with the $200,000 Nassau County Breeders' Cup (gr. II) for 3-year-old fillies at seven furlongs.Don Six spent nearly two seasons with trainer Frank Generazio Jr., the husband of the horse's breeder and owner, Patricia Generazio. But after tailing off sharply in form last autumn, Don Six was transferred to Lake. He's been a different horse since then.In his first start for Lake, Don Six went wire-to-wire in Aqueduct's Gravesend Handicap (gr. III) on December 19. Five weeks later, he did the same thing in the Paumonok. Both those inner track stakes victories came at the Bold Ruler's six-furlong distance.Don Six hasn't won in two starts since the Paumonok, but faced the East's best sprinters in the General George (gr. II) and Carter (gr. I) handicaps, both run at seven furlongs.Don Six was beaten half a nose by Saratoga County in the February 21 General George at Laurel after setting the pace. Saratoga County returned to win Nad Al Sheba's $2 million Golden Shaheen (UAE-I) in his following start. Last time out, Don Six finished third, three lengths behind Forest Danger in Aqueduct's Grade 1 Carter. Don Six set the pace in the Carter and was responsible for an almost unreal half mile time of :43 1/5.Given Don Six's rocket-like speed and Lake's lofty opinion of the horse, it's no surprise that Don Six's long-term goal is the Breeders' Cup Sprint at Belmont Park on Oct. 29.
Jockey Aaron Gryder will ride Don Six from the outside post.
Thunder Touch won two races at Belmont last year and capped off a solid campaign with a victory in Aqueduct's Fall Highweight Handicap (gr. III) under 126 pounds. Thunder Touch beat just one horse in his only start of the year, the Mr. Prospector (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park, but may not have cared for Florida. $100,000 Bold Ruler Handicap (gr. III), 3 & up, 6 furlongs
PP. HORSE, TRAINER, JOCKEY, WGT.
1. Uncle Camie, Mike Hushion, Richard Migliore, 114
2. (a)Kazoo, Richard Dutrow Jr., Mike Luzzi, 113
3. (a)Willy o' the Valley, Richard Dutrow Jr., Mike Luzzi, 113
4. Thunder Touch, Kiaran McLaughlin, Eibar Coa, 114
5. Dashboard Drummer, Allen Iwinski, Pablo Fragoso, 114
6. Don Six, Scott Lake, Aaron Gryder, 120