Put It Back, winning the Riva Ridge Stakes.

Put It Back, winning the Riva Ridge Stakes.

Mike Corrado

Put It Back Takes Riva Ridge, Flame Thrower Injured

Put It Back scored his fifth consecutive victory and captured his first graded stakes in the $150,000 Riva Ridge Stakes (gr. II) at Belmont Park. The ebony dark bay son of Honour and Glory, out of Miss Shoplifter (by Exuberant), won nearly wire to wire in the seven-furlong test.

Flame Thrower, the 6-5 favorite ridden by Jerry Bailey, chased the winner throughout the race and fought fiercely in stretch, but came up a neck short at the wire. His tough performance came at a price as the son of Saint Ballado, out of Metromane, was pulled up immediately after the race and taken off the track in a van. The colt was suspected of having a displaced condylar fracture in his left front leg. A compression bandage was put on the leg while Flame Thrower was on the track, and he walked onto the van. Flame Thrower is trained by Bob Baffert and owned by Gary Garber.

Put It Back was ridden by Noel Wynter, an exercise rider for trainer Allen Jerkens. The Riva Ridge was Wynter's third mount of the Belmont Park meet and his second win. He gunned Put It Back out of the gate and in a few jumps had the lead. Put It Back blazed through the opening quarter-mile in :21.98 and a half-mile in :44.43. He crossed the wire in 1:21.76. The colt is owned by Hobeau Farm.

The winner paid $11.20, $3.80, and $2.70. Flame Thrower paid $3.00 and $2.30.

Finishing third by 2 3/4 lengths was Touch Tone, a son of Pick Up the Phone out of Super Seniorita. Touch Tone, who is trained by Ronnie Werner and ridden by Robby Albarado, paid $3.10. (Chart, Equibase)