Bee Jersey (inside) just noses Mind Your Biscuits at the wire in the Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park

Bee Jersey (inside) just noses Mind Your Biscuits at the wire in the Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park

Anne M. Eberhardt

Bee Jersey Outlasts 'Biscuits' in Met Mile

Jersey Town colt extended his win streak to four with his first grade 1 victory.

The rapid ascension of Chuck Fipke's Bee Jersey hit its zenith June 9 at Belmont Park.

The Jersey Town  colt, who only broke his maiden in October, took the best shot from a proven top-level winner in the $1.2 million Runhappy Metropolitan Handicap (G1) and found just enough to win by a nose.

With pressure applied on the inside—albeit briefly—from Bolt d'Oroand later on the outside from One Liner, the last-out Steve Sexton Mile Stakes (G3) winner broke well and set the pace under jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. Fractions went in :23.08, :45.71, and 1:09.28 through six furlongs, but Santana never asked the 4-year-old colt to stay ahead.

When the two pursuers faded, only one horse was left to challenge. Multiple grade/group 1 winner Mind Your Biscuits rallied on the outside, but the Steve Asmussen-trained Bee Jersey dug in and prevailed in a final time of 1:33.13. Limousine Liberal completed the trifecta, 5 1/4 lengths behind the top pair.

"The horse broke sharply like he always does," Santana said. "We were sitting in a nice spot. I loved the position I was in for the first quarter. I slowed down and he came back to me. He was in a great position, and when I turned for home, I let him go a little bit. He ran an amazing race. My horse is a fighter, and he showed it today."

The Fipke homebred began his four-race win streak with a six-length allowance score at Oaklawn Park, moved up in allowance condition to win by 7 3/4 lengths at Keeneland in April, then scored his first graded win in the May 6 Steve Sexton Mile at Lone Star Park. The trio of races leading up to the Met Mile were also at a mile.

"He's a fabulous miler," Asmussen said. "This was the goal with the horse at the beginning of the year, and now I think we'll regroup from here and think of how to get him to the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (G1) in the best condition."

Mind Your Biscuits, who stalked the pace in sixth early, was a length behind Bee Jersey with a furlong to run and got a good bob at the wire but just missed.

"He shows up every time." said Mind Your Biscuits' trainer and co-owner, Chad Summers. "(Jockey) Joel (Rosario) gave him a perfect ride. I think he showed them he can go a mile. All credit to Bee Jersey. Ricardo put him in front and got away with a :23 first quarter. It's tough to make up that much ground with that opening quarter."

Longshot Discreet Lover closed from 10th to finish fourth and was followed by Ransom the Moon, McCraken, Good Samaritan, Awesome Slew, One Liner, Warrior's Club, and Bolt d'Oro.

Discreet Lover was vanned off after the race. New York Racing Association veterinary director Dr. Anthony Verderosa said the 5-year-old Repent horse was lame in his right front leg without any obvious reason and would be be examined back at the barn.

"When I pulled him back jogging back, he was a little bit sore," said Discreet Lover's jockey, Manny Franco. "So I just tried to take care of him, and I jumped off and took the saddle off. But he'll be all right, I think."

Bee Jersey was bred in Kentucky, out of the Rahy mare Bees, and has a 5-3-1 record from 10 starts and $976,293 in earnings.

Claire Crosby contributed to this report.

Video: Runhappy Metropolitan H. (G1)