The 5-year-old Flat Out and the 70-year-old trainer Charles
“Scooter” Dickey earned their first Grade 1 on Saturday afternoon
as the bay horse came from off the pace to score a 2 ¼-length victory in
the $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational, the centerpiece of “Super
Saturday” at Belmont
Ridden by Alex Solis, Flat Out sat comfortably behind Rodman through an
opening half-mile in 48.56 seconds and began inching closer to the pacesetter
as the field of seven headed into the far turn. Taking control with a
quarter-mile to go, Flat Out never was seriously challenged through the
muddy stretch and cruised under the wire in 2:03.17 in his first start at 1
“This is my first Grade 1 win; you wouldn’t believe how big
this is,” said Dickey, who three months ago notched his first graded
stakes when Flat Out won Belmont’s Grade 2 Suburban Handicap by 6
½ lengths on July 2. “I’ve been training since 1963.
It’s tremendous. It’s hard to fathom, but I like it.”
Drosselmeyer, winner of the 2010 Belmont Stakes, finished second, with
favored Stay Thirsty another half-length back in his first start against older
horses. Rodman, A. U. Miner, Birdrun and Ice Box completed the order of finish.
Sent off as the 7-5 second choice behind Stay Thirsty, Flat Out
returned $4.80 for a $2 win bet. Now 5-3-0 from 12 starts in a stop-and-go,
injury-plagued career, the son of Flatter earned $450,000 to become
racing’s newest millionaire with a bankroll of $1,109,713.
“It’s about time, isn’t it?,” said winning
owner Art Preston. “He’s a great horse – he’s run a lot
of good seconds and everything, and he just had the race he needed today.
It’s the first Gold Cup we’ve run in, and to win the first one,
that’s pretty special. It was his race today. Everything worked
With Flat Out’s victory also came an automatic “Win and
You’re In” berth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill
Downs, where he is likely to face two other “Super Saturday”
winners in 2010 juvenile champion Uncle
Mo, who took the Grade 2 Kelso,
and the filly Havre de Grace, runaway winner of the Grade 1 Beldame.
Flat Out was on the 2009 Triple Crown trail before a stress fracture in
his right shoulder sent him to the sidelines and recurring quarter-cracks kept
him there. He made just one start in a two-year span from April, 2009 to May,
2011 and was second in the Grade 3 Lone Star Park Handicap in his return this
past May. He next finished sixth in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap just
prior to his Suburban win, for which he earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 113. He
was subsequently second to Tizway in the Grade 1 Whitney Invitational Handicap and
to Havre de Grace in the Grade 1 Woodward, earning respective 103 and 109
“He ran two real good races at Saratoga; you can’t knock those horses
he faced there,” said Dickey.
The trainer said Flat Out would return to Monmouth Park
on Saturday evening and depart for Churchill Downs early next week for the 1