Gold Joy's Late Run Spells Tremont Surprise

Winning Expression passed favorite Primal Storm in midstretch, but longshot Gold Joy flew down the outside of the lane to pass them both, winning the $104,900 Tremont Stakes at Belmont Park Saturday.

Gold Joy, under Michael Luzzi, was 14-1 in the field of four juveniles. He paid $31.40 to win the 5½-furlong race in 1:04 4/5 over a muddy track.

"He winds up and he runs," Luzzi said.

"We figured on a speed duel," said winning trainer Tim Salzman. "He was up there close and I kept telling (owner) Kenny (Taylor) that he was close enough to be alright because he's got that kick through the lane. The farther he goes, the better he's going to be."

Primal Storm, a two-time winner, beat both Winning Expression (second) and Gold Joy (third) in the Flash Stakes at Belmont on June 4. June the Tiger, an impressive maiden winner, joined the fray for the Tremont.

Shane Sellers, the rider for 0.65-1 favorite Primal Storm, was confident given the results of the Flash Stakes. "I thought June the Tiger was the horse to beat on paper," Sellers said. "I destroyed the other two horses before (in the Flash)."

At the top of the stretch in the Tremont, Sellers had Primal Storm in front. Winning Expression and Edgar Prado were on the outside and June the Tiger and John Velazquez were tiring a length back at the rail. Winning Expression took the lead midway through the stretch and looked to be the winner.

Then Gold Joy, who had dropped six lengths behind the leaders, started his late run. He won by 1 1/2 lengths.

Gold Joy – a New York-bred chestnut juvenile colt by Joyeux Danseur out of Lizzie Worthington (Gold Seam) – earned $62,940 for owners Kenneth Taylor and John Salzman Jr. He is now 2-1-1 from four starts with earnings of $106,433.

Winning Expression was second. Primal Storm was third.

Salzman said that he would point Gold Joy to the $150,000 Sanford (gr. II) at 6 furlongs on July 29.

(Chart, Equibase)