ELMONT, NY – Jump Sucker Stable’s Blacktype proved hard to beat over soft turf, winning Monday’s Grade 2, $200,000 Knickerbocker at Belmont Park.
Off alertly from post 5 under Joel Rosario, Blacktype settled in behind the rail-breaking Hello Don Julio through early splits of :24.27, :49.14, and 1:13.84. Moving up to take the lead exiting the far turn, Blacktype dug in and held off a late challenge from Muqtaser to hit the finish line first by a length in a final time of 1:50.33 for the 1 1/8-mile inner turf race.
“We thought we were going to be 1-2 (after the start) and then take it from there,” Rosario said. “The race shaped up how we expected it to. I broke well, and then the 1 horse showed a little speed, and we kind of just went along a little bit with him, and after that, he just did the job. It was easy.”
Muqtaser won the photo finish for second over Hello Don Julio. Spring Quality, Camelot Kitten, Smooth Daddy, Forge, Sir Dudley Digges, and The Grey Gatsby completed the order of finish. Vulcan’s Forge, Mark My Style, and Delta Prince were scratched.
Third in this race a year ago, Blacktype’s win improved his career earnings to $739,065. The 6-year-old gelded son of Dunkerque increased his record to 28-9-3-8. The Knickerbocker was the third graded stakes victory for the Christophe Clement trainee, including the a course record-setting effort in the Grade 2 Commonwealth Turf Cup and the Grade 3 Oceanport.
“It went very well,” Clement said. “We were waiting all year long for that. It was a good performance. He’s a good horse. He’s had fine races on firm and soft. (The rain) wasn’t that much of a concern.”
Blacktype returned $12.80 to win, $7.10 to place, and $4.50 to show. Muqtaser brought back $5 to place and $4 to show, while Hello Don Julio paid $3.90 to show.