The win marks the first for Express Tour since his game victory over Street Cry and Lido Palace in the UAE Derby (UAE-III) in March. He earned $90,000 for the win, his fifth in eight career starts. The Saeed bin Suroor trainee was bred in Florida by Karen Silva.Express Tour returned $18, $8.50, and $2.80. Illusioned paid $5 and $2.40. 6-5 favorite Burning Roma returned $2.10. The winning exacta combination paid $74.50. (Chart, Equibase)
Godolphin's Express Tour alternately pressed and set the early pace en route to winning Saturday's $150,000 Jerome Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park. Under John Velazquez, Express Tour completed the one-mile race in 1:34.57 on a fast track.Express Tour, the highest price in the five-horse field at 8-1, presses Hero's Tribute through a :22.38 opening quarter-mile and put his head in front during the subsequent quarter run in :22.22. Burning Roma trailed the field through the first half-mile then put in a strong run to move into contention. Express Tour repulsed the challenge and drew away to a 5 1/2-length win over Illusioned, with Burning Roma missing second-place by a nose. Scorpion and Hero's Tribute completed the order of finish."I told John (Velazquez) to keep him clear and don't discourage him," said assistant trainer Tom Albertrani. "When I saw the :44, I said, `I hope we're not going too fast here.' When he turned for home, you could see he wasn't stopping. I always thought a mile would be his best race. The Stuyvesant or Discovery are possible starts."