JAIPUR STAKES | PURSE: $150,000 | 3-YEAR-OLDS & UP | GRADE 3 | 7 FURLONGS
After winning his previous start by more than 10 lengths, Souper Speedy found a different route to the winner's circle June 7 in the $147,000 Jaipur Stakes over a sloppy track at rainy Belmont Park.
Live Oak Plantation homebred Souper Speedy shadowed frontrunner Big Screen through the stretch but could not get past the Dogwood Stable charge, coming up a head short at the wire of the seven-furlong off-the-turf test. But the stewards quickly flashed the inquiry sign and the head-on replay showed that Big Screen drifted out several paths in the stretch and made solid contact with Souper Speedy just before the wire.
Big Screen was placed second and Souper Speedy first. Trainer Tom Albertrani trains the top two finishers.
"I knew both of them were going to be very, very tough together," Albertrani said. "I was actually hoping for a dead heat in the final strides. Unfortunately [Big Screen] got taken down. I had one happy owner for a couple of minutes and then vice versa. They both ran well."
The victory is the first stakes win for Souper Speedy, a 4-year-old Indian Charlie colt who entered off a dominating victory in an optional claiming race at Belmont contested at the Jaipur distance. Souper Speedy has placed in all but one of his seven career starts and has won three times, with total earnings of $231,634.
Scheduled for the turf, heavy rain forced the Jaipur to be moved to the sloppy main track. Because of the move, the stakes race loses its Grade 3 status pending review by the American Graded Stakes Committee.
Of the nine horses entered for turf, only Big Screen, who placed second in an off-the-turf edition of last year's Calder Derby, and Next Question remained in the field. But they were joined by three horses from the "main-track-only" list for a field of five.
Big Screen, by Speightstown , seized a clear lead through a quarter mile in :22.99 and opened that advantage to two lengths after splashing a half-mile in :45.12. He carried that advantage into the stretch where he was engaged by Souper Speedy, who advanced from third at the three-eighth pole. Irad Ortiz Jr., aboard Big Screen, could not keep his mount from drifting out in the stretch as Jose Lezcano and Souper Speedy continued their charge.
The race was completed in 1:22.09. The stakes win marked Souper Speedy's second career stakes placing, after finishing second in the 2011 Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Souper Speedy returned $5.10 to win, $3.20 to place, and $2.80 to show. Big Screen returned $4.20, $3.20 and Politicallycorrect finished third, returning $3.30 to show.
Out of the Gone West mare Speed Succeeds, Souper Speedy is a half brother to Blue Grass Stakes winner Brilliant Speed. With that breeding in mind, Albertrani said he plans to soon stretch out Souper Speedy.