Iron Deputy, the least-heralded of the five runners in Saturday's $250,000 Brooklyn Handicap (gr. II), used a big break in the weights and his own speed to score a front-running 2 ½-length victory in the nine-furlong race.Owned by John and Susan Moore, the 4-year-old Silver Deputy colt was assigned 112 pounds, getting a 10-pound break from co-high weights Evening Attire and Volponi. Jockey Richard Migliore raced two pounds over, but it didn't seem to matter to Iron Deputy, who inherited the lead after Saarland uncharacteristically went to the front.As Saarland settled, Miglore guided Iron Deputy to the front. A severe thunder and lightning storm that dumped steady rain for two previous races, also took out the automatic timing system, and the hand-timed fractions caught his splits in :23 2/5; :46 4/5 and 1:10. Iron Deputy, the only horse in the field equipped with both mud caulks and quarter-inch bend shoes, got stronger as the race continued and splashed to an easy winner over Volponi, last year's winner of the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) at 43-1. Volponi is winless in two starts so far this year."This is the soundest he's been," said winning trainer Jimmy Jerkens. "We've never been able to keep him sound for any extended period of time. He hasn't had any setbacks. This is a great win for him."Last year was a disaster. With all those 3-year-old races and big money on the line, we didn't get a chance to go for any of them. So, this was really nice. The downpour probably helped us. I think a mile and a quarter is within his range, as long as he rates kind."Volponi finished three lengths ahead of Evening Attire, and Volponi's Hall of Fame trainer Phil Johnson didn't seemed rattled by the finish."I thought he ran great, no excuses," Johnson said. "The weight spread was fair. He got a good trip out there. He was in contention the whole way around. If he comes out well, we'll go in the Suburban."
Evening Attire, who has won at least one graded stakes on every NYRA dirt track, including last year's Jockey Club Gold Cup, got going late and finished fourth.Last in the Brooklyn was 2-1 favorite Harlan's Holiday, who lost all chance early.
"Obviously, the whole complexion of the race changed 45 minutes ago when it started to downpour," said his trainer, Todd Pletcher. "Both races after the rain went wire to wire. He missed the break, and that part is puzzling because he has always been a good gate horse. This is one of those races that you draw a line through and try again." Iron Deputy's fifth win in eight starts was worth $150,000, nearly doubling his career total to $313,900. It wa shis first graded stakes triumph, Iron Deputy returned $15.20, $8.20 and $3.60 for his fifth win in eight starts. Volponi returned $4.80 and $3.10. Saarland showed for $2.80. (Chart, Equibase)