Boisterous earned the first graded stakes win of his career with a
late-running score in the Grade 3, $100,000 Knickerbocker on Saturday at Belmont Park.
Reserved behind horses in fifth through a half-mile in 50.85 seconds,
Boisterous remained in striking range turning for home, was taken outside rivals
in upper stretch, and made a steady run to take the lead in the waning strides and
get up by a half-length. Sleepless Knight held second by a neck over Mr. Ryder.
The final time for 1 1/8 miles was 1:51.42 over turf labeled “good.”
“When you hold him, hold him, hold him and try to let him go, it
takes a little time to get him going,” said winning jockey John
Velazquez. “When he’s off the bridle and relaxed, you pick him up,
and he’s there for you. The horse who was laying second opened up and
three horses could have gone inside of him. As soon as he saw the light on the
backstretch, he was on the bridle. I said ‘That’s not good,’
because now I have to be on his mouth, trying to slow him down. Once I let him
go, it kind of took him a little bit to get going, he switched down the lane, I
got after him, and he responded really well.”
Boisterous, who paid $4.10 for a $2 win wager as the even-money
favorite in the Knickerbocker, won his first black-type event in May, taking
the Three Coins Up overnight stakes at Belmont. In his two starts prior to the
Knickerbocker, the son of Distorted Humor was third in Belmont’s Grade 1 Man o’ War at 1
3/8 miles in July and fifth in Saratoga Race Course’s Grade 1 Sword
Dancer Invitational at 1 ½ miles in August.
“We were a little disappointed in the last two,” said
McGaughey. “Today – I know it wasn’t Winchester
or Cape Blanco – but at least we’re
on the right track again.”
Boisterous, a Phipps Stable homebred, is 5-0-1 from 13 starts, with the
$60,000 winner’s share pushing his earnings to $275,057.
With Boisterous already having demonstrated effectiveness at 1 3/8
miles, McGaughey will consider the Grade 2 Red Smith Handicap on November 5 at
Aqueduct Racetrack for the 4-year-old.
“Maybe we’ll give him the winter off [after the Red Smith] and
bring him back next year; see if he can be competitive in the big races,”
the trainer added.
Mata Keranjang completed the superfecta, followed home by Boots Ahead,
Followmyfootsteps, and Yummy With Butter.