Seattle Fitz Holds Off Dynever in Brooklyn 'Cap

(from Belmont report)
West Point Stable's Seattle Fitz held off favored Dynever on Saturday for a half-length victory in the 116th running of the $250,000 Brooklyn Handicap (gr. II).

Dynever, the 8/5 choice of the public, made a move from last on the turn and swept up to take aim at Seattle Fitz, who figured to have been softened up by a demanding early pace. Instead, the 5-year-ld Fitzcarraldo horse found more in reserve and came home the winner in 1:46 1/5.

Breaking from the rail under jockey Richard Migliore in this one-turn, nine-furlong race, Seattle Fitz drew immediate pressure from Angelic Aura and was pushed through early fractions of :23 2/5; :45 1/5 and 1:08 2/5 on the fast main track.

It was Seattle Fitz' second straight graded stakes win – he took with William Schaefer Handicap at Pimlico on May 15 – and he is now 3-for-6 on the year and 6-for-20 lifetime.

"The myectomy [a surgical procedure used to stop horses from displacing their soft palate] has made a big difference," winning trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said. "Richie (Migliore) has always swore that he is a better horse around one turn. He had an awful lot of confidence in him today, and he rode him like that. I was a little nervous with that 1:08 and change for three-quarters, but Richie wasn't. He's a neat horse to be around. A real pro, he's turning into.

McLaughlin said the $500,000 Suburban Handicap (gr. I) at 1 1/4 miles July 3 at Belmont is a likely destination for Seattle Fitz.

Migliore had nothing but praise for Seattle Fitz, who appears to be heading in the right direction.

"He out-ran them at every point of call, end of story," Migliore said. "He was the best horse and brought it to them. I told Kiaran (McLaughlin, trainer) that I wouldn't mind being in front, as long as he is comfortable and breathing. He can go fast and sustain it, as long as you don't get into his mouth and inhibit his breathing. I had a ton of confidence in this horse. He deserved to win a race like this. I love getting on him in the morning. He just exudes class."

Seattle Fitz had a one-pound advantage in the weights over Dynever, who ran a heroic race after battling foot problems earlier this year. He paid $8, $3.60 and $2.40. Dynever returned $3 and $2.20 and Newfoundland was $2.40 to show. The exacta was worth $20.40.

"My horse ran a very good race. I have no problem with it," said Dynever's trainer Christophe Clement. "Let's hope he comes back in good order for the Suburban. The final time was 1:46 and change, so what can I say? It was one second off the track record."

Added jockey Corey Nakatani: "The track had been playing speed all week -- from the races I've seen, anyway. He had things against him, but he ran a good race and gave a good account of himself."

Newfoundland was third, followed by Angelic Aura, Congrats and Gander. Country Be Gold was scratched.

One race later, Nakatani found the winners' circle when he guided She's A Mug to victory at the wire over front-running Feline Story in the six-furlong Funistrada for 3-year-olds.

(Chart, Equibase)