A three-time Grade 1 winner over synthetic tracks, Donegal Racing’s
Dullahan is the 4-5 morning-line favorite to add a Grade 1 turf score
to his resume when he faces seven other 3-year-olds in Saturday’s 64th
running of the $400,000 Jamaica Handicap at Belmont Park.
Although winless in three starts on grass, the chestnut
son of Even the Score is graded stakes-placed over the surface, having
finished second in his 2012 debut to fellow Jamaica entrant Howe Great
in the Grade 3 Palm Beach at Gulfstream Park and third in the Grade 2
With Anticipation last summer at Saratoga Race Course.
“This will be his first time on the turf where he’s 100
percent,” said trainer Dale Romans of Dullahan, who began his career on
grass, finishing second going 1 1/16 miles at Saratoga. “As a
2-year-old, he hadn’t really turned the corner, and the Palm Beach [on
March 11] was his first start off a layoff. I’m kind of anxious to see
what he does.”
Winner of the Grade 1 Pacific Classic, the Grade 1 Blue
Grass and the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity, Dullahan also finished third
in the Kentucky Derby and fourth in the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile on
dirt. With that versatility in mind, Romans is looking at a number of
Breeders’ Cup options next month for the colt, from the 1 ½-mile Turf
to the Mile, also on turf, or even the 1 ¼ mile Classic on the main
track at Santa Anita Park.
“The Jamaica is one of the last 3-year-old races of the
year, and the 1 1/8 miles opens up a lot of options,” said Romans, who
sent Dullahan out to breeze five furlongs in 1:00.44 Sunday over the
main track at Belmont. “It’s easier going longer, from 1 1/8 miles to 1
½ miles or 1 ¼ miles, but we could also go a mile.”
Joel Rosario, aboard when Dullahan upset leading older
horse Game On Dude in the Pacific Classic, retains the mount. Under
high weight at 123 pounds, Dullahan will leave from post position 3.
Among Dullahan’s challengers is Summer Front, who is
5-for-6 on turf, with his only loss a third-place finish in the Grade 1
Secretariat on August 18 at Arlington Park.
Trained by Christophe Clement for Waterford Stable, the
War Front colt is 2-for-2 over Belmont turf, having broken his maiden
going six furlongs last fall and gaining his first graded stakes in
June with a half-length victory over Howe Great in the Grade 3 Hill
“I thought [in the Secretariat], even though he finished
third, he lacked a bit of racing luck,” said Clement. “He was closer to
the pace than I would have liked, and the race was a little bit
Summer Front will carry 121 pounds, including regular
rider Ramon Dominguez, as he leaves from post position 5 at 5-1 on the
Those two will have a familiar foe in Howe Great, who
drew post position 7 at 6-1 on the morning line. The consistent Hat
Trick colt has been off the board just once in 10 career starts,
finishing fifth behind Dullahan in the Blue Grass, and most recently
ran second in the Grade 2 Del Mar Derby.
Howe Great will be reunited in the Jamaica with Hall of
Fame jockey John Velazquez, who was aboard for his victory in the Palm
Lending an international flair to the Jamaica will be
Reddam Racing’s lightly campaigned Cogito, runner-up to Bayrir in the
Group 2 Prix Eugene Adam-Grand Prix de Maisons-Laffitte on July 22 last
time out. The Giant’s Causeway colt, 2-1-0 from four starts, was to
have made his American debut in the Grade 1 Travers but sprained a
muscle in his back and missed the race.
With Frankie Dettori named to ride, the Brian Meehan
trainee drew post position 4 and was listed as the 4-1 second choice on
the morning line.
Rounding out the field for the Jamaica, which will be run
as race 9 on the 10-race card, will be Unbridled Command, who
stretched his win streak to three with a victory in the Grade 3 Saranac
at Saratoga; King David, making his stakes debut after being claimed
for $35,000 by Michael Maker; Shkspeare Shaliyah, most recently 10th in
the Saranac, and King Kreesa, fourth in the Saranac.