2006 Belmont Stakes Recap
|Jazil overcomes early trouble to win 2006 Belmont Stakes
18-year-old jockey shows great composure after losing iron at the break
by Kenneth Strong of Ultimatecapper.com
June 10, 2006, ELMONT, NY – Overcoming a lost iron at the break, Jazil received an almost perfect trip from 18-year-old jockey Fernando Jara to win the 138th running of the Belmont Stakes on Saturday by 1 1/4 lengths over second choice Bluegrass Cat.
Jazil hit the gate at the break causing Jara to lose his right iron, but the young saddlesmith showed composure well beyond his years to quickly slide his foot back into the iron and begin the mile and a half journey to victory.
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Saving ground into the first turn, Jazil began to pick up horses on the backstretch, split horses and began to rally on the turn for home, came six-wide to challenge on the turn, took a short lead passing the five-sixteenths pole, battled Bluegrass Cat into submission in early stretch, opened up after passing the eighth pole and drew out under strong left-handed encouragement to win by 1 1/4 lengths. Bluegrass Cat stayed on determinedly for second, 2 1/4 lengths in front of third place finisher Sunriver. It was a further 1 1/4 lengths back to Steppenwolfer in fourth.
Oh So Awesome rallied for fifth, five lengths behind Steppenwolfer, after hesitating and lunging in the air at the break. Favorite Bob and John ($4.70-1) oddly set the pace under pressure from High Finance, Deputy Glitters and finally Bluegrass Cat through fractions of 23.02, 47.36, 1:12.14 and 1:37.53 before justifiably tiring in mid turn and fading. Why he was battling for the lead when he could have stalked the duelers might be a good question to ask Garret Gomez.
Bluegrass Cat was close throughout but probably fell victim to his wide trip. Sunriver had a decent trip and did give his best in the stretch. Steppenwolfer was checked on the turn for home and ended up behind a wall of horses before rallying mildly. Still, he might have been second or third without the checking mishap.
Oh So Awesome might also have finished higher had it not been for his poor start. His effort was a good considering how many levels he had to move up in class after racing against allowance horses in France. Hemingways Key had a decent trip and wasn’t good enough. Platinum Couple also had a decent inside trip but also was no match for this bunch.
Sacred Light was very wide throughout but overmatched too. High Finance forced the pace for a mile from the inside before throwing in the towel. Deputy Glitters pressed wide to the turn from home and faded quickly after that, wanting no part of a mile and a half. Double Galore race close up until the far turn and also faded, finally being eased in the stretch.
The winner, trained by Kiaran McLaughlin for Shadwell Stable, gave his young jockey his first graded stakes win, while also increasing his own lifetime earnings to $872,217 from a record of 2-3-0 in eight starts.
A bay colt by Seeking The Gold-Better Than Honour by Deputy Minister, Jazil stopped the timer in 2:27.86 and returned $14.40, $6.70, $4.70 across the board, topping a solid $92.00 Exacta over Bluegrass Cat, a $436.00 Trifecta with Bluegrass Cat and Sunriver and a $1085.00 Superfecta with Steppenwolfer in fourth.