By Jenny Kellner
ELMONT, NY – Favored Fore Left made short work of his six rivals on Friday afternoon at Belmont Park, popping out of the gate on top and never looking back as he romped to a 4 1/2-length victory on the 122nd running of the $150,000 Tremont for 2-year-olds.
The Tremont was the second of five stakes on the second day of the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival, which culminates on Saturday with the 151st running of the Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets. And if you are in New Jersey make sure you visit Bet-New-Jersey.com to find out where to put a wager.
With Mario Gutierrez aboard, the Doug O’Neill-trained Fore Left zipped through an opening first quarter in 22.58 seconds, with the half going in 45.77 as Federale and Rookie Salsa gave chase. Straightening for home, Fore Left easily shook clear of those rivals and was never threatened as he hit the wire in 1:04.44 for the 5 ½ furlongs.
“He broke well and did it pretty easy,” said Gutierrez. “He was sharp out of the gate and found the lead and was in really good contention. In the stretch, I just had to be a little firm. But he did it easy. He’s composed. He seems promising, so hopefully, he keeps going the same way.”
The New York-bred Theitalianamerican, last early, closed down the middle of the stretch to finish second, 3 ¼ lengths ahead of Kentucky Juvenile winner Rookie Salsa.
“He’s a nice horse, he does it all,” said Gary Contessa, who trains the runner-up.”From the day I bought him in March, his brain is just better than anyone else’s [in the barn]. He’s an incredible horse. Wait until he stretches out against New York-breds.”
The victory was the second in as many starts for Fore Left, who was purchased for $97,000 by Reddam Racing at the Keeneland September yearling sale. The son of Twirling Candy, who broke his maiden in front-running fashion on May 19 at Santa Anita Park, added $87,000 to his bankroll with the win and has now earned $126,000.
He returned $5.30 for a $2 win wager.
Owner J. Paul Reddam said he has high hopes for the bay colt.
“When he broke on top, I thought he’d be tough. We hope that he can run a mile and quarter going forward, but you never know. We had Nyquist, who broke his maiden going five [furlongs], and everyone said that horse can’t go two turns or he can’t go a mile and an eighth. He [Fore Left] has the pedigree to go a mile and a quarter. Usually, with earlier speed you don’t see that, but we hope he’s the exception.
“We’ll bring him back to California and decide where we’ll go from there. It kind of depends on how the rest of the stable is doing also, but we would love to come back at Saratoga.”
Federale checked in fourth, a length behind Rookie Salsa, and was followed in turn by Memorable, the filly Dixie Mo, and Now Is. Maven was scratched.