Bustin It took a leap forward in his second start, setting the pace and cruising to a seven-length victory in the $125,000 Rockville Centre on Sunday at Belmont Park.
The Rockville Centre, a six-furlong race for New York-bred 2-year-olds, was the featured race on Sunday, closing day for the spring/summer meet at Belmont.
Bustin It, second by 5 ½ lengths to Nonna's Boy in the mud on June 13 at Belmont, seized the lead at the start of the Rockville Centre, leading by one length through an opening quarter-mile in 22.87 seconds. He had extended his advantage to six lengths through a half in 45.93 and was kept under a hold to the wire by jockey Rajiv Maragh while being chased home by International Star.
Both Bustin It and International Star went off at even money, with International Star going off as the slight favorite. Bustin It completed six furlongs in 1:11.69 and returned $4.10 for a $2 win wager.
"I think the experience had a lot to do with [the improvement in his second start]," said Maragh. "He's a typical 2-year-old, still learning the ropes, but it was a drastic improvement from his first race to today. He was much more focused, and he knew what it was about today. He left the gate, willing. He's naturally fast."
Winning trainer Michael Mareina, who owns Bustin It in partnership with S J Bee Stable and Kuehne Racing, said the chestnut son of Bustin Stones likely will make his next start at Saratoga Race Course.
"We're going to point towards [the $200,000 Funny Cide for New York-breds] on August 24 at Saratoga," said Mareina. "I don't have any grandiose plans for him now, but he's a nice little horse."
With the $75,000 winner's share of the Rockville Centre purse, Bustin It has earned $90,000 to date. He was purchased for $70,000 at last year's Fasig-Tipton Saratoga NY Bred Preferred Yearlings sale.
Midnight Nick finished third and was followed home by Elusive New Yorker and Essence At Noon. Cosmo Storm was scratched.
Racing resumes on Friday at Saratoga Race Course, which will conduct a 40-day meet. Belmont Park will begin its fall meet on September 6.