Trippi Defeats Elders in Tom Fool

Dogwood Stable's Trippi, returning from a nine-length rout over fellow sophomores in the Riva Ridge (gr. II) on the Belmont Stakes card, set all the fractions on the way to a 4 1/2 length win against older horses in the $150,000 Tom Fool Handicap (gr. II) Sunday at Belmont Park.

Over a fast track, Brutally Frank broke well on the inside before Trippi rushed up to take the lead. Those two dueled briefly before Brutally Frank ceded the lead as they approached the turn. Jockey Shaun Bridgmohan angled Brutally Frank to the outside of Trippi as they began the sweeping turn. After setting quick fractions of :22.14 and :44.57, Trippi edged away as they straightened for home and pulled away through the stretch. Trippi, with Jerry Bailey aboard, completed six furlongs in 1:08.82 and led by 5 1/2 lengths before running the final furlong in :12.87. He completed the seven furlongs in 1:21.69.

"He's deceiving," said Bailey. "He doesn't give you that burst of energy, he keeps going at the same wicked pace. He has a real smooth stride and he covers a lot of ground. He's only three but he's got a lot of talent."

Cornish Snow closed along the rail for second, a length ahead of Sailor's Warning. Brutally Frank finished fourth, followed by Fire King, and Wouldn't We All.

Trippi (End Sweep--Jealous Appeal, by Valid Appeal) was bred in Florida by Harry Mangurian Jr. He earned $90,000 for the win his sixth in seven starts. The lone blemish on Trippi's record is an 11th-place finish in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I). The Todd Pletcher trainee has also earned victories in the Swale (gr. III) and the Flamingo Stakes (gr. III).

The odds-on favorite, Trippi paid $3.90, $3.10, and $2.20 across the board, and led an exacta worth $60. (Chart, Equibase)