Two weeks after losing champion Crème Fraiche, Brushwood Stable enjoyed a hard-fought victory by Kicken Kris in the $150,000 Lawrence Realization (gr. III) at Belmont Park on Saturday. Kicken Kris stalked the pace early in the 1 1/2-mile marathon for 3-year-olds on the turf. On the turn for home, jockey Javier Castellano asked for more. When the field straightened for home, Kicken Kris kicked it into high gear. He held off second-place Rowans Park by three-quarters of a length and won the race in 2:27. "He got a very good trip and there wasn't that much pace in the race," said trainer Michael Matz. "Thank God Javier (Castellano) was a little bit aggressive like that. When a horse comes to him, he'll go on again."Brushwood Stable, the nom de course for Elizabeth Moran, earned $90,000 for the Lawrence Realization victory. Kicken Kris won the Secretariat (grr. I) on Aug. 16 at Arlington Park and finished second in the Jamaica Handicap (gr. II) on Sept. 21 at Belmont Park. Crème Fraiche, a gelding, was euthanized on Oct. 9 after a brief and acute case of laminitis. He was 21. Crème Fraiche won 17 of 64 starts and earned $4,024,727. He won the Belmont Stakes in 1985 and he won the Jockey Club Gold Cup in 1986 and 1987. Kicken Kris - a 3-year-old Kentucky-bred colt by Kris S., out of Kicken Grass (Jade Hunter) - increased his record to 4-3-1 from 12 starts with earnings of $527,600. Since breaking his maiden at Gulfstream Park on March 13, he is 4-3-0 from seven starts. "Mike (Matz) told me in the paddock he didn't want the horse too close to the pace this time," Castellano said. "I said, 'Mike, this is a strong horse with a big stride.' It didn't bother him being close to the lead. He's a big, strong horse that moves at the same speed the entire race. He was looking around at the top of the stretch because he was by himself, but I got into him and he responded."Kicken Kris paid $3.10 to win. Rowans Park, under Aaron Gryder, was second. Fortune Writers and Shaun Bridgmohan were third.
Matz said that he planned to run Kicken Kris next in the $600,000 Hollywood Derby (Gr. 1) at 1 ¼ miles on Nov. 30. (Chart, Equibase)