Stroll captures the Jamaica Handicap Sunday at Belmont Park.

Stroll captures the Jamaica Handicap Sunday at Belmont Park.

AP/NYRA Adam Coglianese

Bailey Takes Stroll on Hedge, Wins Jamaica

Claiborne Farm's favored Stroll won his fourth straight in Sunday's $200,000 Jamaica Handicap (gr. IIT) for 3-year-olds at Belmont Park when jockey Jerry Bailey squeezed through a small opening on the hedge to defeat Kicken Kris and Joe Bear.

After getting through on the inside of fading pacesetter Sharp Impact, Bailey and Stroll sprinted away from Kicken Kris in the stretch and went on to record a two-length triumph. Kicken Kris held on from a late-closing Joe Bear by a nose for second. The final time was 1:46 for the 1 1/8 mile on a firm turf.

"I was hoping something would open up at the top of the stretch," Bailey said. "Not many horses would've gone through that hole. The hedge was scraping my boot. You need the horse to get through a hole like that. If you don't, you can look pretty stupid."

Stroll, a dark bay son of Pulpit trained by Bill Mott, was alert early, challenging for the lead as Sharp Impact went to the front before settling down at the rail in fourth. Sharp Impact, with Lismore Knight and Kicken Kris close to the lead, went :24, :47 1/5 and 1:10 4/5.

Stroll stayed on the hedge while moving up at the head of the stretch. When Sharp Impact provided the opportunity, Bailey was quick to exploit it with a confident move.

"He's really turned into a nice horse," Bailey said. "He's learned how to settle. He still wants to be sharp, but you can talk him out of it."

Kicken Kris was wide much of the way under Javier Castellano and showed plenty of gameness while nosing out a determined Joe Bear and David Flores for second. Kicken Kris and Joe Bear finished first and second in the Secretariat (gr. I) at Arlington in their last start Aug. 16.

Stroll and Kicken Kris were top-weighted at 121 pounds apiece.

Stroll started his winning streak with an allowance win at Belmont May 10. Since then, he's won three consecutive stakes, including the Hall of Fame Handicap (gr. IIT) at Saratoga by four lengths on Aug. 4.

It was his fifth victory in 10 starts overall and was worth $120,000, pushing his earnings total to $326,547.

The 7-5 choice in the field of seven, Stroll paid $4.80, $2.80 and $2.30. Kicken Kris returned $3.60 and $2.80. Joe Bear's show was $2.80. The $2 exacta was worth $14.60.

They were followed by Stone Cat, Y.V. Five, Lismore Knight and Sharp Impact.

Travelator Wins Schenectady
Travelator, under Aaron Gryder, went to the lead at the top of the lane and coasted through the finish line for a 2 1/2-length score in Sunday's $108,000 Schenectady Handicap for New York-bred fillies and mares.

Grab Bag and Edgar Prado caught Self Rising and Jose Santos at the wire to take second. Travelator won the 6-furlong race in 1:10 2/5.

Travelator, a 3-year-old New York-bred filly by A. P. Jet, improved her career record to 5-3-1 from nine starts. Her first stakes-race victory was worth $64,800 and boosted her career earnings to $209,557.

"She's a real honest little filly," said winning trainer Stanley Hough. "She tries every time."

Hough said that he would point Travelator to the $125,000 Iroquois on Oct. 18.

Grab Bag, who broke her maiden and won four allowance races over the past year, failed to extend her five-race winning streak in her first stakes race.

Said Grab Bag's trainer Tom Skiffington: "She got outrun. I thought she was doing well. I'll wait and see, but she'll probably come back in the Iroquois."

(Chart, Equibase)