Charge It was last victorious in an allowance optional claimer Feb. 5 at Gulfstream Park (Coglianese)
By Mary Eddy – NYRA Press Office
ELMONT, N.Y.— Whisper Hill Farm’s homebred graded stakes-winner Charge It will stretch out in attempt of his second win of the year in Saturday’s Grade 2, $350,000 Suburban, a 10-furlong main track route for older horses, at Belmont Park.
Trained by Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher, Charge It enters from an even fourth-place effort in the Grade 1 Hill ‘n’ Dale Metropolitan Handicap on June 10, where he mildly improved position under Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez throughout before flattening out down the stretch and finishing 5 1/2 lengths behind the victorious Cody’s Wish. The effort garnered a field-best 102 Beyer Speed Figure.
“It was a pretty salty field and I thought he held his own and ran well there,” said Byron Hughes, Pletcher Belmont-based assistant. “He came out of it in good shape and has been breezing well since. We’ll see what happens.”
Charge It made his talents clear with a visually impressive 23-length coup in last year’s Grade 3 Dwyer, earning a 111 Beyer in his last sophomore outing ahead of a seven-month respite. His campaign last year included a runner-up effort to White Abarrio in the Grade 1 Florida Derby before a distant 17th in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby, his lone start at the Suburban distance.
The son of Tapit boasts royal female bloodlines, with his second dam being the influential broodmare Take Charge Lady, a multiple graded stakes-winner who produced Grade 1-winners Will Take Charge, Take Charge Indy and As Time Goes By. She is also the second dam of Grade 1-winners Omaha Beach and Take Charge Brandi.
“Between his breeding and how he trains, it doesn’t look like he has any kind of distance limitations,” said Hughes. “You can kind of throw the Derby out.”
This year, Charge It returned victoriously from his layoff with a 1 1/2-length optional-claiming victory in February at Gulfstream Park before finishing second in the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Mile and fifth in the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap. He has worked twice since the Met Mile, most recently covering a half-mile in 48.60 seconds Saturday over the Belmont dirt training track.
Velazquez has the call from post 4.
A. Bianco Holding Limited’s Tonal Impact [post 1, Jose Ortiz] streaks in off a pair of optional claiming conquests for conditioner Linda Rice. The 5-year-old Tonalist gelding was last seen rallying from fourth-of-6 to land a three-quarter-length triumph over Kinetic Sky in a local one-mile contest on June 15, garnering a 100 Beyer. That effort came on the heels of a similar score going nine furlongs over the same course on May 28.
Tonal Impact has not missed the board in nine starts since being haltered for $40,000 out of a win in November at Churchill Downs. He makes his stakes debut while in search of his fourth trip to the winner’s circle this year, boasting a lifetime record of 25-8-3-5 and earnings of $425,826.
“He seems to really like the big sweeping turns at Belmont,” Rice said. “He’s a big, tall, long-legged horse and he really seems to like the surface.”
Trainer Juan Alvarado will saddle Arindel’s homebred Clapton in hopes of earning a second graded score after the Florida-bred son of Brethren took Gulfstream’s Grade 3 Ghostzapper in April, just the second lifetime graded victory for Alvarado.
Clapton was a last-out third in the May 19 Grade 3 Pimlico Special won by Rattle N Roll, earning the placing with a stalking trip under regular pilot Emisael Jaramillo. He tracked in fifth-of-7 down the backstretch in the 1 3/16-mile route before making up ground in the turn and grinding down the lane to be defeated 4 1/4 lengths.
Clapton boasts a consistent 21-5-3-6 record with $452,890 in total purse earnings. Out of the Afleet Alex mare Alexandra Rylee, he is a full-brother to the stakes-placed Knox.
Jaramillo will be tasked with the ride from post 3.
Jordan Wycoff’s Red Run [post 2, Tyler Gaffalione] attempts his first victory since being haltered for $50,000 out of a game second-place effort in March. Trained by Mike Maker, the son of Gun Runner has placed in two stakes events since, including a runner-up effort in the 1 1/2-mile Isaac Murphy Marathon on May 3 at Churchill where he was bested a neck by Warrant.
Red Run’s latest effort was a third-place finish in the Grade 2 Brooklyn on June 10 where he tracked in third throughout and put in a mild bid to preserve his position and garner graded black type for the first time in six attempts. He cuts back from the marathon distance for the first time since April when he finished third going one mile in his first effort off the claim.
Red Run is the first foal produced from the unraced Tapit mare Red House, making him a full-brother to the multiple graded stakes-placed Red Route One. His second dam, the graded stakes-winner Fun House, also produced multiple graded stakes-winner Paddy O’Prado and Untapable.
Completing the field is Edward Potash, Brad Yankanich and trainer Jim Ryerson’s Unbridled Bomber [post 5, Irad Ortiz, Jr.], a four-time winner from 16 starts who was last seen finishing a distant fourth in the Grade 3 Westchester on May 5 here. The 4-year-old Upstart colt has won 1-of-3 outings this year, notching an impressive nine-length score in a third-level optional claimer traveling one-mile in April at the Big A.
The Suburban is slated as Race 5 on Saturday’s loaded 12-race card, which co-features the Grade 1, $750,000 Belmont Derby Invitational in Race 10; the Grade 1, $500,000 Fasig-Tipton Belmont Oaks Invitational in Race 8; and the Grade 3, $175,000 Victory Ride in Race 11. First post is 1:05 p.m. Eastern.