JC / Railbird

Met Mile

Belmont Day Figures

Creator noses out Destin to win the 2016 Belmont Stakes
Creator noses out Destin to win the 2016 Belmont Stakes. Photo Credit: NYRA.

Beyer and TimeformUS speed figures for the Belmont Stakes day card:

Race Winner BSF TFUS
Belmont Stakes Creator 99 120
Manhattan Flintshire 110 129
Met Mile Frosted 123 135
Just a Game Celestine 107 129
Woody Stephens Tom’s Ready 95 117
Jaipur Stakes Pure Sensation 102 121
Ogden Phipps Cavorting 102 127
Brooklyn Shaman Ghost 99 120
Acorn Stakes Carina Mia 98 114

Figures via DRF stakes results and TFUS figuremaker Craig Milkowski.

The WOW performance of Saturday afternoon was Frosted’s 14 1/4 length win in the Met Mile as the 2-1 favorite. His winning margin is believed to be a record for the race, as is his final time of 1:32.73. Watch the replay:

View the complete Belmont Stakes day playlist ›

Plainly Said

Dick Powell:

I love the Met Mile (G1) and hate that it is run on the Belmont Stakes undercard. It is a race worthy of its own big stage and should not share it with anyone.

Seconding the sentiment. It pains me to see a race as significant and historic as the Met Mile crammed into a bloated Belmont Stakes “Big Day” card between the Just a Game and the Manhattan Stakes. Restore it to Memorial Day!

Bribon Wins Met Mile

Bribon enters the winner's circle after the Met Mile

The winner’s circle after the Met Mile this afternoon felt like a flashback to Saratoga last summer, and it wasn’t just the warm summery air or the festive track crowd. The same delighted connections who gathered then for a photo with Grand Couturier — winner of back-to-back Sword Dancer Stakes — were smiling at Belmont after Bribon — winner of the Westchester Handicap last month — won the Met Mile by a half-length over 3-1 co-favorite Smooth Air.

Trainer Robert Ribaudo said after the race that the 6-year-old gelding may get some time off before returning to race upstate. “There’s not a lot in the near future, but he deserves a little break,” said Ribaudo. “Maybe we’ll come back in Saratoga at seven-eighths.”

Final time for the Met Mile was 1:34.15 (with the final quarter in :25.6) after quick early fractions of :22.70, :45.20, 1:08.55 set by third-place finisher Driven by Success. Smooth Air, whose handler was persistently imploring, “Come on, Smoothie!”, well before the field turned into the stretch, became a millionaire with his $120,000 share of the purse. The win on Bribon was jockey Alan Garcia’s second in the race; the rider won on Divine Park in 2008.

Monday Notes

– Naughty New Yorker, unraced since finishing seventh in the 2008 Suburban Handicap (thanks to TrackMaster for that info), is on the comeback trail, says trainer Pat Kelly, and a start at Belmont before the end of the meet is possible. The 7-year-old NY-bred, who returned to the worktab on May 12, breezed four furlongs in :47.85 (2/25) over the Belmont training track on Sunday.

– Rachel Alexandra worked four furlongs in :50.20 over a sloppy track at Churchill this morning; Mine That Bird went the same distance in :51 with Calvin Borel in the saddle. The uncertainty over whether the Preakness winner will run in the Belmont and who Borel will ride continues with owner Jess Jackson telling reporters today a decision regarding Rachel Alexandra isn’t likely until next week and trainer Chip Woolley backing down from his Monday deadline, saying that he would wait a few more days to name a jockey for Mine That Bird. Will she or won’t she — there’s no shortage of speculation. My guess — she won’t, but that Jackson will take his time, drawing out the story, before making a definite announcement, which seems a cruel thing to do to the Mine That Bird camp … unless they’re fairly certain they’ll get their rider eventually. [Addendum: Claire Novak has the right take on today’s post-work non-story. “We were, essentially, there to report … nothing.”]

– At Monmouth on Saturday, at Belmont today for the Met Mile. Live blogging this afternoon a possibility, occasional on-scene Twitter updates more likely.