Pomeroy, who had always been in the shadow of Lion Heart in the Patrick Biancone stable, captured his first grade I race Saturday with a smart victory in the $250,000 King's Bishop (gr. I) for 3-year-olds at Saratoga.
Owned by Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith, who also own Lion Heart, Pomeroy and jockey Edgar Prado set a stakes record while completing the seven furlongs in 1:20 4/5, breaking the 1999 mark of 1:21 established by Forestry. The clocking was two-fifths of a second off the Saratoga track record set by Darby Creek Road in 1978.
Prado won his fourth race on the Saratoga card Saturday with Pomeroy, who raced without blinkers for the first time in five starts this year.
"He's a lovely horse," said Biancone. "Today was the first time he rated in a grade I. He produced today the way we expected him to produce. He's going to be a very nice seven-furlong/miler. He may be a very good sprinter next year. We took off the blinkers today, and he was much more relaxed. He had a lot of speed, and he still has the same, but he is a lot more relaxed."
The bay son of Boundary
prevailed by more than a length over Weigelia, who had taken the lead for John Velazquez at the head of stretch after soaring past 9-5 favorite Medallist – who backed up quickly in the stretch – and Hosco.
Pomeroy, running in fourth for most of the trip while about five lengths off the pacesetters, made a strong move off the turn, cutting the corner nicely and striving into rapid contention. He surged past Wegelia on the inside and finished under strong urging while widening the lead in the final strides.
Ice Wynnd Fire, ridden by Jerry Bailey, came on late for third, losing by a length to Weigelia.
Medallist broke last for Jorge Chavez in the field of eight and was rushed up along the inside to get the lead from Hosco through a quarter-mile in :22 and a half in :44 3/5. The taxing pace took its toll though after six furlongs in 1:08 2/5. Medallist pulled up at the top of the stretch.
"The horse tried to come out, and he never showed any signs of that in his races or his training," said trainer H. Allen Jerkens. "He had been working well coming into the race. I don't know what happened."
Added Chavez: "He ran good going into the turn, and then he tried to come out. I tried to talk to him, then I had to grab him because I didn't want to dump anyone. There was nothing I could do."
The other favorite in the race, Fire Slam, had a three-race winning streak snapped. He also broke badly and never got into contention.
Pomeroy was coming off a second-place finish in the Amsterdam (gr. II) as the 8-5 favorite at Saratoga Aug. 7, losing to Bwana Charlie by three-quarters of a length.
"Edgar thought that last time, he moved too early," Biancone said. "The horse might not have been fit enough in the Amsterdam. Hopefully, we'll do the same next. Now, I enjoy Champagne."
Prior to that, he won the Jersey Shores Breeders' Cup (gr. III) June 26 by four lengths. He has two wins and two seconds in five starts in 2004. Overall, he's 4-3-1 in nine lifetime starts and earnings of $384,250.
He paid $11.40, $6.30 and $4.80. Weigelia returned $8.30 and $6.10 and completed a $64.50 exacta. Ice Wynnd Fire's show was $6.80.
Bwana Charlie, Saratoga County, Fire Slam, Medallist and Hosco followed.