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HRN Original Blog:
A New York State of Racing

Flat Out Stays Unbeaten at Belmont Park

Flat Out Westchester 615 X 400
Photo: Eclipse Spotswire - Sue Kawczynski
If you were to look up “horses for courses” in a dictionary of horse racing terminology you would definitely find Flat Out. Flat Out remained unbeaten in four races at Belmont Park today, when he won an exciting stretch battle against the even money favorite Cross Traffic. The Westchester (G3), which is run as a one-turn mile, is the fourth graded stakes victory for Flat Out at Big Sandy. He adds this win to his back-to-back Jockey Club Gold Cups (G1) in 2011 and 2012 and the 2011 Suburban Handicap (G2).
Down the backstretch jockey Junior Alvarado was content to sit in fourth place just behind Cross Traffic who was setting a blistering pace of :22.77 and :45.33. Entering the clubhouse turn Flat Out began to make his move outside of horses. At the top of the stretch the battle began, the unbeaten Cross Traffic dug in after six furlongs in 1:08.87 and fought all the way to the wire. The fast fractions took their toll on the early leader, as seven-year-old Flat Out was able to get up by a head.
Alvarado rode Flat Out with great confidence and talked about it after the race, “I tried to keep him a little bit closer because I knew that Javier’s horse [Cross Traffic] was the only real speed. He broke well and I asked him a little bit. When I made the decision to go, at the three-eighths pole, he was still in hand. He kept cutting into the lead, little by little, but by the eighth pole I knew he had him. He’s a really good horse.”
After the race, NYRA track handicapper, Andy Serling, said that the final time of 1:32.99, third fastest in the 85 year history of the Westchester, was extremely impressive in that the track was not playing that fast. After comparing this race to the times of the other one-mile races on the card, he projected that the Beyer Speed Figure for this race might come close to 120.
The Westchester is Belmont Park’s main prep race for the Metropolitan Handicap (G1), which is to be run exactly a month from today on May 27th.  Bribon (2009), Divine Park (2008), and Yankee Victor (2000) most recently completed that one turn mile double. In 2012 To Honor and Serve took the Westchester, but failed to win the Met Mile when Shackleford took the race on Memorial Day.
How much does Flat Out love Belmont Park? Four of his seven career wins have been at Belmont and more than half of his $2.6 million dollars in earnings have come on Big Sandy. Bill Mott’s assistant trainer, Leana Willaford, who today saddled the son of Flatter, understated her horse’s love of New York, “He does have an affinity for this racetrack, and he showed it today.”


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Older Comments about Flat Out Stays Unbeaten at Belmont Park...

As it turns out Flat Out got a 115 BSF, not quite 120, but still pretty high in today's world.
I'd like to see how he looks now, as a 4yo. He was very sweet. Sad to think by next year he might not be as pet-able.
Gotcha. I was hoping to see Nonios back on the scene by now. Hopefully he can return.
No, Jay, and I'm not sure if I even asked. I just offer well-wishes for recovery of health or whatever set-back to be overcome, then I don't mention the horse again. Same with HTG. If I ask anything nce, and no reply, I don't ask again. No idea why, I just knew to be that way, and that works best.
Flat Out, IMO, is due for some big performances. BTW Mary, any latest info on Nonios?
Yes, Jay, I hope he repeats in the two Belmont Stakes, Suburban and JCGC, and it would be good for his record if he wins a stakes at a track other than Belmont, just that my friend's horse is pointed to the Met Mile( also at Belmont) so that would be a conflict of interest, for me :) Then again, I like to see a good race, too.
As noted in the article, they are thinking seriously about the Met Mile, which makes a lot of sense. He was given a 115 Beyer on a day when his race was 4 seconds faster than two previous mile races. I can see him going in the Met Mile them possibly the Brooklyn Handicap and then point to the JCGC, if they can keep him together. He ran an exceptional race today against a determined second place finisher (who also looks like a great addition to the handicap ranks). Flat Out’s final 8th was in 11.86 seconds, pretty good for a horse that was individually timed at 1.08.97 seconds for the first six furlongs. I like the way in which he was within a half-length early in the stretch, fell back to a full-length behind, then came on again with a determined finish.
Mary, wouldn't be great if Flat Out followed the list of races you posted above? I certainly would enjoy seeing it.
Thank you. I get a few comments that I'm a stalker, too, though, lol.
That's amazing, Mary. I never expected an answer, much less, that quickly. With all the knowledge that you have exhibited in the past, I am very impressed with your quick wit. Thanks for sharing!!!!
Thank you Mary. Like.
CFC, Here's your answer, and part of Flat Out's story: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/02/sports/breeders-cup-flat-out-and-trainer-dickey-a-classic-story.html?_r=0
Maybe his story would unveil why Scooter Dickey got his nickname, "Scooter"?
I would read that!
I'd love to read the Flat Out story. He overcame some fairly serious physical problems, then re-started his career. I would say he is deceptively fast, and has his definite likes. Or is that like? Belmont Park.
Hopefully, he'll go for the Jockey Club Gold Cup three-peat, then one last Breeders' Cup Classic try, or not. Maybe some other send-off race like the Clark or Cigar Mile.
I wonder how long Mott and Preston Stables will continue to race him. He's already 7 and still intact. I'm surprised they haven't shipped him off to stand at stud.
If the Breeders' Cup ever gets back to Belmont, Flat Out is your horse to beat!

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Matt Shifman has been on the Horse Racing Nation staff since 2011 and currently serves as Assistant Editor. Matt covers Aqueduct, Belmont Park, Monmouth Park, and Saratoga in his two HRN blogs Racing at the Jersey Shore and New York State of Racing.


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