Milers square off in Kelso Handicap at Belmont Park
By New York Hot List Staff
Memories of one of the sport’s greatest stars will be in the air Saturday at Belmont Park when the $300,000 Kelso Handicap tops an 11-race card.
For the uninitiated, the gallant gelding Kelso was one of the greatest horses of the 20th Century, earning Horse of the Year honors in five straight years (1960-64) while winning 39 of 63 starts and earning a record $1,977,896.
There’s not another Kelso in Saturday’s field of milers but there is the potential for an entertaining race.
A field of seven was entered, though two of the possible starters, Golden Brown and Monongahela, are entered in stakes races at other tracks and may not run.
The other five entrants are a rather evenly matched bunch.
Prince Lucky comes into Saturday’s race off a stakes win at Belmont Park as he won the State Dinner Stakes by 1 ¾ lengths on July 7 in his last start.
He should also thrive at the one-turn mile as he won a pair of graded stakes under those conditions at Gulfstream Park earlier in the year by a combined margin of 10 ¾ lengths.
True Timber also has stellar experience at a one-turn mile as he finished a game second last year in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct.
Seventh in the Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream to start the year, he was ninth in his last start, the Godolphin Mile in Dubai on March 30.
“He’s been doing very well and we’re happy with him. He’s ready to get going,” trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said. “He needed more time off after Dubai than most do but he’s training well. It’s a tough race but he’s up for the task and he should run well. Luckily, we have patient owners that allow us to give him the time that he needs.”
The field also includes Pat On the Back, Plainsman and Tale of Silence.
The 11-race card also features the $200,000 Noble Damsel, a Grade 3 turf stakes for fillies and mares at one mile.