ELMONT, N.Y. – Godolphin homebred Speaker’s Corner was no match for Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile-winner Life Is Good in yesterday’s Grade 2 John A. Nerud at Belmont Park, but ran valiantly in defeat to earn a 102 Beyer Speed Figure for the effort, his fourth triple digit figure in a graded stakes this year.
Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, Speaker’s Corner faced a tough rival for the second race in a row after finishing third to the undefeated Flightline in the Grade 1 Hill ‘n’ Dale Metropolitan Handicap on June 11 at Belmont. The Nerud was his fifth start his year and first time at seven furlongs since his 4 1/2-length victory in the Grade 1 Carter Handicap presented by NYRA Bets in April at Aqueduct.
“He’s good and he’s fine,” said Leana Willaford, Mott’s Belmont-based assistant. “He ran into a couple tough horses his past couple starts. It happens. He ran hard.”
A 4-year-old son of Street Sense, Speaker’s Corner earned the highest Beyer recorded this year when garnering a 114 for his Carter triumph. His other wins this year were a pair of one-turn mile stakes at Gulfstream Park in the Grade 3 Fred W. Hooper in January and the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Mile in March.
NYRA Press Office
Photo of Speaker’s Corner winning the Carter in June at Belmont by Janet Garaguso.