ELMONT, N.Y. -- Don Six, the 3-5 favorite, suffered a stunning defeat at the hands of New York-bred Uncle Camie in Saturday's Grade 3 Bold Ruler Handicap at Belmont Park.
Uncle Camie blew by Don Six in the final furlong of the $106,600 Bold Ruler for a 2 3/4-length win. Don Six held on for second, a head in front of Thunder Touch.
Don Six's trainer, Scott Lake, said he was uneasy when the gates opened for the six-furlong Bold Ruler. Don Six, ridden by Aaron Gryder, rushed to the lead after uncharacteristically breaking a step slowly.
Don Six, the 120-pound highweight, clicked off the first quarter-mile in a blazing 21.23 seconds before blitzing through a half-mile in 43.92.
"How can you do that [and win]," Lake said in reference to the torrid fractions after the slow start. "You can't do that. I was hoping once he broke slow, [Gryder] would just sit. Aaron just made a mistake today."
Gryder said he was unable to harness Don Six's natural speed.
"He's a very aggressive horse," Gryder said. "His speed is dangerous with anybody. I was trying to get him to turn off, but he gets into his rhythm and just keeps it going."
Uncle Camie received a dream trip under Richard Migliore. Uncle Camie raced in second position, a length or so behind Don Six, before challenging the favorite from the outside at the top of the stretch. Don Six was racing several paths off the rail and Uncle Camie was forced to come wide around Don Six.
Uncle Camie ($10.80) covered the distance in 1:08.67 over a fast track. The winner carried 114 pounds.
Dashboard Drummer and Kazoo completed the order of finish.
Mike Hushion, Uncle Camie's trainer, said the 5-year-old son of Abaginone has been a different horse since undergoing a throat operation earlier this year to improve his breathing. Since the procedure, Uncle Camie, who is owned by his breeder, Carmine Telesca, and John and Marilyn Guerrera, is undefeated in two starts. The Bold Ruler was his first stakes win.
"He had the throat surgery before his last race, and that seemed to help him get the last 70 yards," Hushion said. "I rarely have that surgery done and 99 percent of the time it hasn't been successful when I have."
Hushion said he didn't have plans for Uncle Camie's next start.