Garnered Takes Jaipur After Race Switched to Main Track
Eight horses were entered to run in the $112,100 Jaipur Handicap, originally carded as a grade III, seven-furlong turf sprint on Belmont Park's Memorial Day undercard, with four others entered for the main track only.
Butwhen heavy downpours on Monday capped several days of bad weather, all but one of the horses entered in the main body of the race was left to run. That one, however, was Joseph V. Shields Jr.'s Garnered, who out-fought Speightstown through the lane to win by a length and a quarter on the sloppy main track in 1:23 2/5. The win came in spite of the fact that jockey Victor Carrero lost hit stick near the eighth-pole.
"Victor rode him like a pro," said winning trainer Allen Jerkens. "He couldn't afford to let the other horse get away. I didn't know how Garnered would handle the mud. He didn't like it last year when he ran on a muddy track. We sent him down to the farm last fall because he needed some time. They did a great job with him having him ready andgood and sound. He's a beautiful horse. He's nominated to the True North Breeders' Cup Handicap [gr. II, $250,000, Belmont Stakes Day, Saturday, June 7), but we might wait. I ran him back close today."
The Jaipur battle was joined from the start, as Garnered and Speightstown opened up daylight on the rest of the field, going swiftly on the sloppy track in :21 3/5; :43 4/5 and 1:09 3/5.
"I know Johnny's horse (Speightstown) is very fast and a good breaker," said winning jockey Victor Carrero. "I wanted to go head and head with him because I thought my horse would come out best. The whip just slipped out of my hands, but it didn't matter. I didn't need it with this horse today. He's still getting better."
Garnered paid $4.60, $2.80, and $2.10. Speightstown returned 2.80 and 2.10, and Whitewaterspritzer, who nosed No Parole for the show position, paid $2.10.
The winner is a 5-year-old son of Holy Bull bred in Florida by his owner. The Jaipur was the third win in a row and first stakes triumph for Garnered, who was making his stakes debut. From eight starts, Garnered has five wins and two seconds.
In keeping with the policy of the Graded Stakes Committee of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders' Association that states a race is moved down one gradewhen it is switched from grass to the main track, the Jaipur was run as a non-graded race and will be reviewed later to determine if the grade III status will be restored for this edition.