Suburban H. (gr. II)

(gr. II , 10f ,)

ALBERT THE GREAT (B h, 123 lb) $300,000
Go for Gin —Bright Feather , by Fappiano
B—Albert G. Clay, KY.; O—Tracy Farmer; T—Nicholas P. Zito

Lido Palace (CHI) (CH h, 115 lb) $100,000
Rich Man's Gold —Sonada (CHI) , by Quick Decision
B—Haras Figuron, CHI.; O—Amerman Racing LLC; T—Robert J. Frankel

Include (B h, 122 lb) $55,000
Broad Brush —Illeria , by Stop the Music
B—Mr. Robert E. Meyerhoff, MD.; O—Robert E. Meyerhoff; T—Grover G. Delp

Margins: 2¼, head, 7. Others: Perfect Cat 114($30,000) , Unshaded 117($15,000) , Traditionally 116 . Winning Jockey, Jorge F. Chavez.

Albert the Great’s triumph as the even-money favorite in the Suburban Handicap (gr. II) was a dream come true for his connections. For Albert Clay, who bred the colt, and his son John, it was more than that.

Albert the Great was foaled at the Clays’ Fair Way Farm near Mt. Sterling, Ky., and the father and son are privately dedicating the victory to the memory of Wilburn C. Colliver, who died recently. Colliver served as co-manager of Fair Way and worked at the farm for nearly 30 years.

The Suburban was the second consecutive win for Albert the Great, who races for Central Kentucky businessman Tracy Farmer. The son of Go for Gin captured the June 10 Brooklyn Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park in his last start and took the Widener Handicap (gr. III) in March. His stakes-placings this year came in runner-up efforts in the Pimlico Special (gr. I, by a neck) and Donn (gr. I) Handicaps.

Albert the Great boasts a Suburban/Brooklyn winner in the fourth generation of his pedigree in the form of Hall of Fame member Buckpasser. One difference was that Buckpasser won the Brooklyn one year and the Suburban the next. As a 3-year-old in 1966, Buckpasser captured the Brooklyn in the midst of his 15-race win streak. The Brooklyn was victory No. 7 in the streak and came by a head over Buffle. It was the first victory in the historic event by a 3-year-old since The Chief won the race in 1938.

Buckpasser’s Suburban win came as a 4-year-old, and by all accounts it was one for the ages. The great colt, under 133 pounds and conceding 22 pounds to Ring Twice, trailed that rival by four lengths at the eighth pole, but got up to win by a half-length in front of nearly 50,000 fans. Buckpasser’s sire, Tom Fool, and dam, Busanda, both had won the Suburban. Buckpasser next tried the Brooklyn, but was solidly beaten by Handsome Boy, who was getting 20 pounds.

Farmer bought Albert the Great for $85,000 at the 1998 Keeneland September yearling sale. The colt was consigned by Three Chimneys Farm, agent. Three Chimneys is owned by another son of Albert Clay, Robert N. Clay. Two years after buying Albert the Great, Farmer bought the colt’s half-brother by Capote for $100,000 at the Keeneland September sale.

Go for Gin, whose big win came in the 1994 Kentucky Derby (gr. I), is the sire of additional stakes winner Go for Cat. Go for Gin is owned by William Condren, Joseph Cornacchia, and the Hancock family’s Claiborne Farm and stands for $12,500 at Claiborne near Paris, Ky.—D.S.