Classic Winners Upset In Dwyer

Tracy Farmer's Albert the Great jumped out to an early lead and was never challenged as the son of Go for Gin posted a three-length upset over More Than Ready and classic winners Red Bullet and Commendable in the $150,000 Dwyer Stakes (gr. II) at Belmont Park. Carrying 115 pounds, in receipt of eight each from Red Bullet and Commendable, Albert the Great raced the 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.62, while setting fractions of :24.18, :46.63, 1:10.51, and 1:35.92. The winner paid $16.00 and $8.20, with More Than Ready returning $4.30 to place. There was no show wagering. Red Bullet, making his first start since winning the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), finished third, with Commendable, in his first outing since taking the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), fourth in the four-horse field. More Than Ready and Commendable were both bumped at the start, and in the stretch Albert the Great moved in front of More Than Ready as he went to the rail from the middle of the track. A claim of foul lodged by John Velazquez on More Than Ready against the winner was disallowed.

In making his first graded start in the Dwyer, Albert the Great was ridden by Richard Migliore for trainer Nick Zito. The victory was the fourth in a row for Albert the Great, who broke his maiden at Keeneland on April 22 when he was ridden by Migliore for the first time and equipped with blinkers for the first time. Albert the Great was bred by and named for Albert Clay, the father of Three Chimneys Farm owner Robert Clay. The colt was purchased by Farmer for $85,000 at the 1998 Keeneland September yearling sale.

"I'm ecstatic," said Zito, who also trained Go for Gin, the sire of the Dwyer winner. "It takes an exceptional horse to come off allowance wins and beat those types of horses. This is a very special day for me because his dad is Go for Gin." (Chart, Equibase)