Turf sprinters featured in the first Saturday stake at Belmont Park
By New York Hot List Staff
The $125,000 Elusive Quality drew a field of seven older males for the seven-furlong turf sprint on the first Saturday of the 2019 Spring/Summer Belmont Park meeting.
The race is named for Elusive Quality who turned in one of the most brilliant performances in the history of the Widener turf course at Belmont Park on July 4, 1998. When he was sent to the front in the Poker (G3) by Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey and set a 1:31.63 world record for a mile. He won over $400,000 in his career with a record of 20: 9-3-2 and was trained by Bill Mott.
Krampus was named the 2-1 morning favorite based on his March victory in the Grade 3 Canadian Turf at Gulfstream Park. The Bill Mott trainee, who has a perfect 2 for2 record on the grass at Belmont, puts blinkers on as he cuts back in distance from a mile.
The second choice at 3-1 is the Christophe Clement runner Therapist who has six victories from 10 starts in his career and that includes 3 wins in 3 tries at Belmont. One of those scores came at today’s distance in the New York Stallion series. Clement is adept at preparing his horses for turf sprints as seen with the multi-stakes winning millionaire Pure Sensation.
“It’s his first start of the year and it looks like a very deep race, but he’s been training well. We also chose this spot because it also sets up well for the $125,000 Kingston for New York-breds [May 27], so we’ll see how we do here to start,” said Clement.
Big Handsome, who was assigned 9-2 morning line odds, appears to be rounding back into the top form that produced a past stakes victory in the Paradise Creek at Belmont Park at today’s distance.
Trainer Tony Dutrow said he is confident Big Handsome is primed to give a top effort on Saturday.
“We feel as though he ran well last time out and just ran out of real estate,” said Dutrow. “He’s now 5-years-old and he’s grown into his own over the past year and become a very professional horse. We feel as though he’s set up to run his best effort. Every one of his races at Belmont, no matter the distance, he’s run exceptionally well and we’re confident on how he’s looked in the mornings coming into this race.”
The New York Hot List team’s full analysis of the Elusive Quality and the rest of the card is available free on this website.
The Elusive Quality is slated as race 9 on Saturday’s 10-race card with post time scheduled for 5:51 pm ET.