Bee Jersey wins Met­ro­pol­i­tan

Horse wins by a nose over Mind Your Bis­cuits in $1.25 mil­lion Grade I

Albany Times Union - Sunday - - SPORTS - By Leif Skod­nick El­mont ▶

In the clos­est fin­ish on the 13-race card at Bel­mont Park on Satur­day, Bee Jersey edged Mind Your Bis­cuits by a nose to win the Grade I, $1.25 mil­lion Met­ro­pol­i­tan Hand­i­cap.

Sired by Jersey Town out of Bees, Bee Jersey came in on a three-race win­ning streak, hav­ing most re­cently taken a front-run­ning win in the

Grade III Steve Sex­ton Mile on May 6at­lon­es­tarpark,andwen­twireto wire for his fourth con­sec­u­tive win.

“He was in a great po­si­tion and when I turned for home, I let him go a lit­tle bit,” said jockey Ri­cardo San­tana Jr. “My horse is a fighter and he showed it to­day. He was wait­ing for the other horses and when my horse felt (Mind Your Bis­cuits), he took off again. He gave me a sec­ond kick to pass the wire first.”

Com­ing to the top of the stretch, Mind Your Bis­cuits was sec­ond by a length be­fore clos­ing the gap, los­ing in a head-bob­bing photo fin­ish. He car­ried the top weight of 122 pounds, four more than Bee Jersey. Bee Jersey broke quickly, grab­bing the early lead, cov­er­ing the first quar­ter-mile in 23.08 sec­onds.

Trained by Chad Sum­mers, Mind Your Bis­cuits roared back from sixth place at the half-mile mark.

“It’s tough to make up that much ground with that open­ing quar­ter,” Sum­mers said fol­low­ing the race.

“We’ll re­group from here. We’ve got two op­tions for the Breed­ers’ Cup, but we’ll just see where we’re at,” said Sum­mers, asked what’s next for his horse. “I think he showed to­day he could go, they just got away with a 23 (sec­ond) open­ing quar­ter-mile and giv­ing up four pounds.”

The win gets Bee Jersey, trained by Steve As­mussen, into the start­ing gate for the Breed­ers’ Cup Dirt Mile.

“He’s a fab­u­lous miler,” As­mussen said fol­low­ing the race. “This was the goal with the horse at the begin­ning of the year and now I think we’ll re­group from here and think of how to get him to the Breed­ers’ Cup Dirt Mile in the best con­di­tion.”

Notebook: Monomoy Girl, win­ner of the Ken­tucky Oaks, took the Grade I Acorn, a one-mile race for 3-year-old fil­lies and the sec­ond leg of the Triple Tiara, beat­ing Talk Veuve To Me by two lengths. … Abel Tas­man, win­ner of the 2017 Ken­tucky Oaks and Acorn, took the Og­den Phipps, a 11⁄16-mile race on the dirt for 4-year-olds and up­ward, by 71⁄2 lengths over Ivy Bell. It was the first of three wins on the day for trainer Bob Baf­fert, and gets Abel Tas­man into the gate for the Breed­ers’ Cup Distaff in Novem­ber. Baf­fert also won the day’s fifth race, the Grade II Brook­lyn In­vi­ta­tional, with Hop­per­tu­nity. … Prom­ises Ful­filled, owned by Bob Baron of Voorheesville, led the Grade II Woody Stephens early be­fore tir­ing and fin­ish­ing third, 41⁄2 lengths be­hind the win­ner, Still Hav­ing Fun. … The day’s big­gest re­turn for a win­ner came in the Grade I Man­hat­tan, where a $2 win bet on Spring Qual­ity paid $38.

lskod­nick@time­sunion.com 518454-5425 @Leif­skod­nick

Skip Dick­stein / Times Union

Bee Jersey with jockey Ri­cardo San­tana Jr., right, holds off Mind Your Bis­cuits and Joel Rosario to win the 125th run­ning of the Met­ro­pol­i­tan Hand­i­cap at Bel­mont Park.

San­tana Jr.

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